Poet: Federico Garcia Lorca

Sonámbulo / The Sleepwalker by Theodore Ushev

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A surrealist journey through colours and shapes inspired by the poem Romance Sonámbulo by Federico García Lorca. Visual poetry in the rhythm of fantastic dreams and passionate nights.

This is a poetry film only in the sense that it takes its inspiration from one stanza of Lorca’s, but it’s a brilliant animated homage to Spanish surrealism that reminded me of everything I love about the whole Generation of ’27, which includes so many of my favorite poets and artists. It’s difficult to imagine 20th century poetry and art without this incredible flowering of talent in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. U.S. poets who came of age in the 1960s were heavily influenced by Spanish poetry in translation; I’d say it was equal in impact to translations of classical Chinese and Japanese poetry. For me, getting a bilingual anthology of 20th-century Spanish poetry as a Christmas present when I was 11 was a life-changing experience. I doubt I would’ve become a poet otherwise.

Anyway, here’s a serviceable English translation of “Romance Sonámbulo”, followed by the original.

For more about the film, see its webpage. Theodore Asenov Ushev is a Bulgarian animator, graphic designer, illustrator and multimedia artist based in Montreal.

The Little Mute Boy by Federico Garcia Lorca

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This is Ink Spilled in Cursive from Company E, “a contemporary repertory dance company and film-making group deeply committed to the finest repertory and artistry, with a focus on the power of art to bring awareness, enjoyment and inspiration to artists and audiences around the world.” The choreographer/performer is Jason Garcia Ignacio, with an original, live score composed by Brenden Schultz. Ink Spilled in Cursive will be performed as part of a show called Next: Spain on November 16-17 in Washington, DC. (I’m guessing that the text of the poem will be projected on or above the stage. It certainly seems integral to the performance.)

Murder (Two voices at dawn on Riverside Drive) by Federico Garcia Lorca

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Asesinato, directed by Javier Gómez Serrano for elegant mob films, is an adaptation of a poem from Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), which may be read at Google Books in both Spanish and English (translation by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman).

Gacela of Unforeseen Love by Federico Garcia Lorca

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I’m rarely satisfied with my own efforts, but I do like this one. (Which is not to say it couldn’t be improved.) I blogged a bit about the poem at Via Negativa last month.