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By using the tag Popular songs I am able to trace the development of my short and unsuccessful songwriting efforts. I started in September &...

Friday, July 11, 2014

??

Swallows in circles bewildered
whirl from the dark iron bells,
and over the square the gitana
cannot work her spells.
The room is shadowy, tall,
and filled with the murmur of rain.
Indians crouch in the corner
with moonlike saucers of grain.
The bottles of Lachryma Christi
are stored on the spidery shelves,
and the saints of tomorrow groan
as they flagellate themselves.

So what do you think? Dose this sound like a translation from Lorca's gypsy ballads (or imitation) or not? Expain your answer. For bonus points guess the author (without googling please). If you want to google to find out who it was, then does the answer surprise you?

(Hint, an author not primarily known for his poetry.)

6 comments:

profacero said...

Translation no, imitation no, reference yes. Also must refer to Rivera painting and be set in Mexico. That is why it is not an imitation although you might say it was an homage. And then say dark bird and I will respond Góngora, Bécquer, and so on. It also has that creepy finisecular religious setting, Vallejo, Herrera y Reissig, so ... interesting poet in English, this person was, and I read the book because I saw it reviewed somewhere, liked it, should read again.

Vance Maverick said...

I like the first line and some other bits, but the rhyme is jingly, and there are several gaps of imagination -- the unspecific "Indians" and "gitana" (by contrast e.g. to the specific Italian wine). Unstressed "themselves" as the ultimate rhyme word is lame.

I was going to half-jokingly guess Spicer till I saw your hint. Google confirms it: an author I know only for plays I have never seen.

profacero said...

Yes, Vance, as is often the case the writer doesn't know as much about Mex. (where he is setting the poem) as about Italy!

Jingliness, yes but I like the whole poem better than this stanza in isolation. The thing is that those religious objects he is writing about can be slightly kitschy and I think putting a touch of that in the poem is actually good. Percale and costume jewelry (Patria: tu mutilado territorio / se viste de percal y abalorio. --L.V.)

profacero said...

Yes, Vance, as is often the case the writer doesn't know as much about Mex. (where he is setting the poem) as about Italy!

Jingliness, yes but I like the whole poem better than this stanza in isolation. The thing is that those religious objects he is writing about can be slightly kitschy and I think putting a touch of that in the poem is actually good. Percale and costume jewelry (Patria: tu mutilado territorio / se viste de percal y abalorio. --L.V.)

Leslie said...

(apology for double post -- I apparently clicked twice)

Leslie said...

and obliquely related -- poetry flash: I have finally gotten hold of and am reading the Hart literary biography of Vallejo. You have to read it. It is fascinating and hilarious. As in, I cannot put it down. Key for all 20s to 30s interested people, lo prometo.