Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint by Federico García Lorca
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.
I am afraid of being, on this shore,
a branchless trunk, and what I most regret
is having no flower, pulp, or clay
for the worm of my despair.
If you are my hidden treasure,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog, and you alone my master,
never let me lose what I have gained,
and adorn the branches of your river
with leaves of my estranged Autumn.
Ian Gibson has published a new book about Lorca and his sexuality:
According to early reviews, Gibson makes a strong case that the poet’s tortured relationship to his homosexuality is an overlooked cornerstone of his work. But what seems most remarkable about the book is not the revelation that’s made headlines in Spanish newspapersthat Lorca had a girlfriend. (Gibson writes that Lorca “tried” to love a young adolescent named Maria Luisa Natera when he was eighteen, but “couldn’t.”) Rather, it’s that Lorca’s sexual life hasn’t been the focus of any books before. Lorca’s writing, considered deeply homoerotic, was banned until 1954 and censored until 1975. His family rarely spoke of it. Even as late as the nineteen-eighties, when “Sonnets of a Dark Love” was posthumously published, it was retitled “Love Sonnets.”
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