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Gypsy Ballads

by Federico García Lorca

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391546,286 (4.06)1
Federico García Lorca wrote the Gypsy Ballads between 1924 and 1927. When the book was published it caused a sensation in the literary world. Drawing on the traditional Spanish ballad form, Lorca described his Romancero Gitano as 'the poem of Andalucía...A book that hardly expresses visible Andalusia at all, but where hidden Andalucía trembles'. Seeking to relate the nature of his proud and troubled region of Spain, he drew on a traditional gypsy form; yet the homely, unpretentious style of these poems barely disguises the undercurrents of conflicted identity never far from Lorca's work. This bilingual edition, translated by Jane Duran and Glora García Lorca, is illuminated by photos and illustrations of and by Lorca, his own reflections on the poems and introductory notes by leading Lorca scholars: insights into the Romancero and the history of the Spanish ballad form by Andrés Soria Olmedo; notes on the dedications by Manuel Fernández-Montesinos; Lorca's 1935 lecture; and an introduction by Professor Christopher Maurer to the problems and challenges faced by translators of Lorca. True to the spirit of Lorca's remarkable artistry, the book has been designed by John Morgan, one the UK's most imaginative typographic designers, with a gradated green cloth cover embossed on the front and back with Lorca's own playful line drawings.… (more)

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English (3)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 3 of 3
2016 Reading Challenge #31: A book of poetry.

“Con la sombra en la cintura
ella sueña en su baranda,
verde carne, pelo verde,
con ojos de fría plata.
Verde que te quiero verde.
Bajo la luna gitana,
las cosas la están mirando
y ella no puede mirarlas.”
( )
  Glire | Jun 22, 2016 |
Me porté como quien soy.
Como un gitano legítimo.
Le regalé un costurero
grande, de raso pajizo,
y no quise enamorarme
porque teniendo marido
me dijo que era mozuela
cuando la llevaba al río. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Spanish author Lorca set his ballads in Andalusia which was the regionof Spain he was from, among the gypsy people. He was gay and was later killed by General Franco's Civil Guard on 19th August 1936, barely a month after the start of the Spanish Civil War. On of his friends was artist Salvador Dali.

His poems often revolve around sexuality and violence and it makes a moving collection. My favourites of the 18 ballads wer "Ballad of the Moon, Moon" about the moon who abducts a child to sleep, "The Unfaithful Wife" about a man who sleeps with a woman who turns out to be already married, "Ballad of the Summoned Man" about a man who is fated to die at a specific time and does so, "The Martyrdom of Saint Olalla" about a young girl tortured and killed who becomes a martyr and "Tamar and Amnon" which is a Biblical tale of incest from Sammuel concerning King David's children.

The ballads themselves are quite short for the most part, usually not longer than 3 pages each. It was interesting that the original Spanish was on the left page and the translation on the right. I don't speak any Spanish (except a couple of dirt phrases!) which made it interesting to try and learn a little and pick up on common words. There was a very interesting introduction and at the end was an interpretation of the main themes in the poem referenceing other Spanish poems of the time. ( )
  Rhinoa | Feb 21, 2009 |
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