When good friends get together they can talk and walk and hug and hold and discuss so many awkward and difficult things, like how the body fills with spirit and the reader can be swept away in the magic of voice and how time and space can be suspended in the majestic act of creation that spins a web of forgetfulness around us and makes us forget who and what we are as we forge new worlds and the duende (Lorca’s dark earth spirit of love, want, and creation) holds us captive and drives us onward and inwards until we give birth to that which was waiting to be born, even though we never knew that the seed had even been planted, and “What is this?” we ask as we survey the new born entity fresh on the page, held in the hands, suddenly full of life and breathing on its own, a thing of beauty in its own right, that made complete sense as we struggled to hold it as it grew and transformed and transitioned from internally ours to externally and eternally theirs, a product of mind and body now belonging no longer to us but to the world beyond us, and we long to know its fate, to watch it as it walks along its path, its destiny now in its own hands, and “What is it?” people ask as we stand still and know not what to tell them, or else they say “Nice”, sigh, and go back to their two-thumbed clicking and their imaged devices, bereft of the imagination to see and explore that which has just been placed before them, this babe in swaddling clothes, this new creation, “Here, have some,” they say, thrusting our way the chips on which they are munching, or the curly French Fries they are crunching, or the pistachios, or whatever, and their coffee cools on the table, and their eyes are locked on the text that moves between their fingers across the electronic page, and this is life, as they know it, this shifting screen of shadows, this black and white stage that moves across the wall of the man-cave, woman-cave, in which they have immersed themselves, their noses close to that shifting screen, their minds elsewhere, trapped in the instantaneous insanity of the hyper-cyber-space that inhabits the void behind their eyes and between their ears, as they try to judge the price of everything never understanding the value of anything, let alone what we have created, and “Take away his grant,” “Let her wither on the vine,” “They’ll soon forget to be creative when we chain them up face to face with harsh reality,” and was that what they said to Goya, to El Greco, to Leonardo, and what exactly did they say to Lorca, before they shot him dead and rolled him into that common grave along with all the other murdered men and women, teachers and artists, poets and thinkers, and we, poor parents, holding our precious precocities in their swaddling clothes and wondering why we ever set out on this adventure, and why we are creators in the first place and “Watch out, here it comes again!” the tsunami, the tidal wave that sweeps us away and drives us into the black holes of our inner lives where a dark sun shines and shadows dance and lead us on and on until we have caught our dreams, squeezed them dry of their nothingness, and turned them into the weavings of an actuality stuffed full with new life, a new reality, a new creation, something that is truly ours, yet outside ourselves, and we gaze at it for a moment then position it in its cradle of reeds, place it in the river, push it out into midstream and eyes fill with tears and heart with hope as we watch it float away to make its own life, sink or swim, on this sea of sorrows, where someone, downstream, may bend to the waters and say “Holy Moses: what on earth is this?” or “How are we going to judge and assess it?”

6 thoughts on “Friends

  1. Wow! That was an amazing sentence! Really, Roger what a tremendous piece of writing. I just acquired Lorca’s Collected Poems. I’ve never read him before so I am excited to start. Maybe I’ll have some questions for you. I’ve begun the rather lengthy introduction to get some background and context for the poems to follow.

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    • Ask away, Meg. I used to run a reading workshop that concentrated on Lorca, plays and poetry. I’m not an expert there, but I have a pretty good knowledge of his poetry and of his life. I am particularly fond of Poet in New York, his surrealist collection. The Gypsy Ballads are probably his most famous work, though, along with the trilogy of plays, Blood Wedding, Yerma, and Bernarda Alba’s House. More later on this, but by all means send your comments on Lorca along.

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      • I am not sure it’s the best place to start. Gypsy Ballads, maybe. I’d start there. Or right at the beginning. Romancero gitano / Gypsy Ballads. Verde que te quiero verde and Romance de la luna, luna, and Romance de la Guardia Civil are among my favorite starting points. Also Cordoba, lejana y sola. I’d start by pottering at random and reading on a ‘come by chance’ basis. Always more fun than plowing through (in my opinion).

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      • A good plan! I like pottering around. The collection gives the poems in Spanish along side the translation, too. So I’ll take my time and see what I can read in the original language.

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      • This is a great way of working. I used a bilingual method for years. Start with the English, then go to the Spanish. Do this until the meaning of the Spanish starts coming through. Then see how the English translation betrays the Spanish: what can be translated and what can’t. En la nche, platinoche, noche que noche nochera. Try translating that one!!!!

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