Ghazal of Dark Death by Federico García Lorca [translated by Catherine Brown]
I want to sleep the sleep of apples, far away from the uproar of cemeteries. I want to sleep the sleep of that child who wanted to cut his heart out on the sea. I don’t want to hear that the dead lose no blood, that the decomposed mouth is still begging for water. I don’t want to find out about grass-given martyrdoms, or the snake-mouthed moon that works before dawn. I want to sleep just a moment, a moment, a minute, a century. But let it be known that I have not died: that there is a stable of gold in my lips, that I am the West Wind’s little friend, that I am the enormous shadow of my tears. Wrap me at dawn in a veil, for she will hurl fistfuls of ants; sprinkle my shoes with hard water so her scorpion’s sting will slide off. Because I want to sleep the sleep of apples and learn a lament that will cleanse me of earth; because I want to live with that dark child who wanted to cut his heart out on the sea.
This poem comes from The Collected Poems of Federico García Lorca A Bilingual Edition (Revised). Click here to purchase.
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