Winter 1941 • Vol. Book ReviewsMarch 2, 2024 |

Lorca in English

Blood Wedding. A Tragedy by F. Garcia Lorca. Translated by Gilbert Neiman. New Directions. 50 cents Poems. F. Garcia Lorca. Translated by Stephen Spender and J. L. Gili. Selection and Introduction by R. M. Nadal. Oxford University Press. $2.50 The Poet in New York. By F. Garcia Lorca. Translated by Rolfe Humphries. Norton. $2.50 The legend of Lorca's death is, at present, not definitively solved, and these three books provide us with the works of this poet in English, until the biographers come along to finish the quarrel. In the meantime, here is the poetry, which is more important, and some additional shreds of the controversy, which may be extraneous. For Lorca was indeed a poet, and his life and death are in his works. When Mr. A. L. Lloyd (following Mr. Putnam) introduced the English-reading public to Lorca's violent and moving work two years ago, it was apparent that he would be seized upon in England and the United States in a pale reflection of his first flash of

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Growing out of Muriel Rukeyser’s experience during the Spanish Civil War, the elegy evokes both hope and skepticism about dreaming in a time of defeat. The title alludes to nineteenth-century customs practiced by starving Native Americans, who found hope in ecstatic dancing, anticipating reunions with their dead—customs which, as Rukeyser noted, “have connections with expression in the overrun countries of our own time.” “The Dream-singing Elegy” was later republished as the seventh in a cycle of ten poems (Elegies, 1949). A quotation from it appears in Doctor Atomic, John Adams’ 2005 opera about the Manhattan Project, sung by the skeptical Kitty Oppenheimer.

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