Words on Homo Words: Federico Garcia Lorca

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In celebration of gay history month and our week long look at queer wordage, we’d like to take a moment to mention Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca.

Though his brief life was cut short at the start of the Spanish Civil War, Garcia Lorca made a definite impact on the country’s art circles. Friends with artist Salvadore Dali and director Gregorio Martinez Sierra, who gave him his first break as a playwright. From there, Garcia Lorca build a successful career as a master story teller.

Unfortunately, Garcia Lorca also suffered from a deep depression from the cognitive dissonance surrounding his homosexuality. An unrequited love affair with sculptor Emilio Aladren only complicated matters.

As he succumbed to depression, Garcia Lorca lost a number of his friends, but kept himself busy by studying at Columbia University in New York City. Upon his return to Spain, Garcia Lorca directed a university theater company. From Madrid he headed to Granada, where he was arrested and subsequently executed by the fascist government.

Read one of Garcia Lorca’s poems, “Ditty of First Desire.”

Ditty of First Desire

In the green morning
I wanted to be a heart.
A heart.

And in the ripe evening
I wanted to be a nightingale.
A nightingale.

(Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love.)

In the vivid morning
I wanted to be myself.
A heart.

And at the evening’s end
I wanted to be my voice.
A nightingale.

Soul,
turn orange-colored.
Soul,
turn the color of love.