Garcia Lorca here pays tribute to his illustrious predecessor with this sonnet in the style of Gongora. Both men were , of course, apart from being fine poets, Andalusians whose love of southern Spain shines through much of their poetry.
The title of this poem is unusually informative, it has information about the form of the poem, its inspiration and its subject matter. “Sonnet in the stlye of Gongora in which the poet sends his lover a pigeon”.
Federico García Lorca
Soneto Gongorino en el que el poeta manda a su amor una paloma
Este pichón del Turia que te mando,
de dulces ojos y de blanca pluma,
sobre laurel de Grecia vierte y suma
llama lenta de amor do estoy pasando.
Su cándida virtud, su cuello blando,
en limo doble de caliente espuma,
con un temblor de escarcha, perla y bruma
la ausencia de tu boca está marcando.
Pasa la mano sobre tu blancura
y verás qué nevada melodía
esparce en copos sobre tu hermosura.
Así mi corazón de noche y día,
preso en la cárcel del amor oscura,
llora, sin verte, su melancolía.
The pigeon (or perhaps dove) is a symbol of the love which the poet sends to his loved one. I don’t know if there is special significance that it is a pigeon of Turia, which is a river valley in Spain. But the pigeon both marks the absence of the lover and has qualities which remind him of her mouth, her attitude and her beauty. And in the end, despite the pigeon, the poet remains in a state of melancholy because his lover is absent.
The sonnet probably doesn’t have quite the richness or verbal inventiveness of Gongora’s best sonnets, but it is a good attempt and we should be pleased that Lorca made this attempt. And it helps underscore the continuity of much poetic tradition.
The Poetry Dude