Federico García Lorca

Three Dark Love Sonnets

translated by Jorge Rodriguez-Miralles

The Poet Asks His Love to Write Him

I wait in vain for your written word,
visceral love, vital death,
thinking (with a withering flower) that
I’d lose you not to live deprived of self.

The air’s immortal; inert rock neither
seeks to know shadow nor avoids it.
The innermost heart, too, needs none
of the frozen honey the moon pours out.

Yet I suffered you, ripped into my veins,
a tiger and dove in a duel of lilies
and fangs above your waist.

Fill, then, my lunacy with words
or let me live in the serene night
of the soul’s pervasive darkness.


The Poet Tells the Truth

I want to cry my grief and I tell you
that you may love and weep for me
in a nightfall of nightingales—
with a dagger, with kisses, and you.

I want to kill the one and only witness
to the assassination of my flowers
so as to turn my cries and sweats
into an eternal heap of hardened wheat.

Let there be no end to the unraveling
“I love you’s”, “You love me’s”, always burning
with a decrepit sun and ancient moon.

Let what you don’t give, what I don’t ask for,
be for death, which does not leave
even a shadow over shivering flesh.


The Poet Speaks to His Love by Telephone

In that sweet wooden booth, your voice
soaked the dune of my breast. Spring
went to the south of my feet.
A fern flowered to my forehead’s north.

A pine of light, in that narrow space,
without a dawn or seedtime sang,
and my cry, for the first time, hung
crowns of hope throughout the ceiling.

Sweet and distant voice poured out for me,
sweet and distant voice that I have tasted,
distant and sweet voice gone quiet.

Distant, like a doe dark and wounded;
sweet, like a sob in falling snow;
distant and sweet, inside the bone!

About the translator: Currently a high school teacher and adjunct professor of writing and literature at Miami-Dade College and St. Thomas University, JORGE RODRIGUEZ-MIRALLES is also an MFA graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. Jorge is a poet, literary critic, translator, and enthusiastic advocate for peace-making via the arts and ecological and spiritual renewal. His poetry and literary criticism have appeared in Metropolis, Four & Twenty, Bombay Gin, The Bathroom Magazine, Big Bridge, The The Poetry and The Cimarron Review. He is presently finalizing a first collection of poems for publication.