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(July, 1920)

Oh, what sorrow to have
poems in the distance
of passion, and the brain
all stained with ink!

Oh, what sorrow not to have
the spectacular shirt
of the happy man: his skin,
the carpet of the sun – all leathery!

(Round and round my eyes
flocks of letters spin.)

Oh, what sorrow the ancient
sorrow of poetry,
this sticky sorrow
so far from clear water!

Oh, sorrow of sorrow
to sip at the lyrical vein!
Oh, the sorrow of dried-up fountains
and mills with no flour!

Oh, what sorrow to have
no sorrow and go through life
on the colourless grass
of the inconclusive path!

Oh, the deepest sorrow,
the sorrow of joy,
the plough that digs furrows
for the weeping to bear fruit!

(Over a mountain of paper
rises the cold moon.)
Oh, the sorrow of truth!
Oh, the sorrow of lies!



English translation by Paul Archer of Lorca's Encrucijada.
For more translations of poems by Lorca, go to Translations.

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