Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Poet in New York

A Bilingual Edition

by Federico Garcia Lorca

“[Poet in New York] may well be one of the greatest books of poems ever written about New York City. . . . A fierce indictment of the modern world incarnated in city life . . . Wildly imaginative . . . An apocalyptic outcry, a dark, instructive, metaphysical bowl of loneliness.” —The New Yorker

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 208
  • Publication Date January 15, 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4353-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date January 15, 2008
  • ISBN-13 978-1-5558-4865-1
  • US List Price $14.00

About The Book

Newly translated for the first time in ten years, Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York is an astonishing depiction of a tumultuous metropolis that changed the course of poetic expression in both Spain and the Americas. Written during Federico García Lorca’s nine months as a student at Columbia University at the beginning of the Great Depression, Poet in New York is widely considered one of the most important books Lorca ever produced. This enduring and influential collection offers us a New York City populated with poverty, racism, social turbulence, and solitude—a New York intoxicating in its vitality and devastating beauty.

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, poets Pablo Medina and Mark Statman returned to this seventy-year-old work and were struck by how closely it spoke to the atmosphere of New York after the World Trade Center crumbled. They were compelled to create a new English version of Poet in New York—translating the poems with reverence and irreverence, caution and wildness, humility and nerve. They translate Lorca’s words with a contemporary poet’s eye, which allows their work to uphold his surrealistic technique, mesmerizing complexity, and fierce emotion, unlike any other translation to date.

An excellent introduction to one of the most significant figures in twentieth century poetry, Poet in New York is a defining work of modern literature and this new bilingual edition is an exciting exposition of one American city that continues to have the ability to change our perspective on the world around us.

Praise

Poet in New York is stunning.” —David H. Rosenthal, The New York Times Book Review

“[Poet in New York] may well be one of the greatest books of poems ever written about New York City. . . . A fierce indictment of the modern world incarnated in city life . . . Wildly imaginative . . . An apocalyptic outcry, a dark, instructive, metaphysical bowl of loneliness.” —The New Yorker

“The definitive version of Lorca’s masterpiece, in language that is as alive and molten today as was the original.” —John Ashbery

Excerpt

I
Poemas de la soledad en Columbia University

Furia color de amor,
amor color de olvido.
—Luis Cernuda

I
Poems of Solitude at Columbia University

Fury, the color of love,
love, the color of forgetting.
—Luis Cernuda

Vuelta de Paseo

Asesinado por el cielo,
entre las formas que van hacia la sierpe
y las formas que buscan el cristal,
dejaré crecer mis cabellos.
Con el árbol de muñones que no canta
y el niño con el blanco rostro de huevo.
Con los animalitos de cabeza rota
y el agua harapienta de los pies secos.
Con todo lo que tiene cansancio sordomudo
y mariposa ahogada en el tintero.
Tropezando con mi rostro distinto de cada día.
¡Asesinado por el cielo!

Back From a Walk

Murdered by the sky.
Among the forms that move toward the snake
and the forms searching for crystal
I will let my hair grow.
With the limbless tree that cannot sing
and the boy with the white egg face.
With the broken-headed animals
and the ragged water of dry feet.
With all that is tired, deaf-mute,
and a butterfly drowned in an inkwell.
Stumbling onto my face, different every day.
Murdered by the sky!

1910
(Intermedio)

Aquellos ojos míos de mil novecientos diez
no vieron enterrar a los muertos,
ni la feria de ceniza del que llora por la madrugada,
ni el corazón que tiembla arrinconado como un caballito de mar.
Aquellos ojos míos de mil novecientos diez
vieron la blanca pared donde orinaban las niñas,
el hocico del toro, la seta venenosa
y una luna incomprensible que iluminaba por los rincones
los pedazos de limón seco bajo el negro duro de las botellas.
Aquellos ojos míos en el cuello de la jaca,
en el seno traspasado de Santa Rosa dormida,
en los tejados del amor, con gemidos y frescas manos,
en un jardín donde los gatos se comían a las ranas.
Desván donde el polvo viejo congrega estatuas y musgos,
cajas que guardan silencio de cangrejos devorados
en el sitio donde el sueño tropezaba con su realidad.
Allí mis pequeños ojos.
No preguntarme nada. He visto que las cosas
cuando buscan su curso encuentran su vacío.
Hay un dolor de huecos por el aire sin gente
y en mis ojos criaturas vestidas ¡sin desnudo!

New York, agosto 1929

1910
(Interlude)

My eyes in 1910
never saw the dead being buried,
or the ashen festival of a man weeping at dawn,
or the heart that trembles cornered like a sea horse.
My eyes in 1910
saw the white wall where girls urinated,
the bull’s muzzle, the poisonous mushroom,
and a meaningless moon in the corners
that lit up pieces of dry lemon under the hard black of bottles.
My eyes on the pony’s neck,
in the pierced breast of a sleeping Saint Rose,
on the rooftops of love, with whimpers and cool hands,
in a garden where the cats ate frogs.
Attic where old dust gathers statues and moss,
boxes keeping the silence of devoured crabs
in a place where sleep stumbled onto its reality.
There my small eyes.
Don’t ask me anything. I’ve seen that things
find their void when they search for direction.
There is a sorrow of holes in the unpeopled air
and in my eyes clothed creatures—undenuded!

New York, August 1929