I have posted a number of poems consisting of homage or recognition from one poet to another, and here is one from Rafael Alberti to his contemporary, Federico Garcia Lorca, a tribute to Lorca’s poetry and to his place in the tradition, of course, but also a tribute from a survivor to one who was killed in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.
Alberti also penned poems about Garcilaso de la Vega and Pablo Neruda, which I have posted on this site.
A FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
Sal tú, bebiendo campos y ciudades,
en largo ciervo de agua convertido,
hacia el mar de las albas claridades,
del martín-pescador mecido nido;
que yo saldré a esperarte amortecido,
hecho junco, a las altas soledades
herido por el aire y requerido
por tu voz, sola entre las tempestades.
Deja que escriba, débil junco frío,
mi nombre en esas aguas corredoras,
que el viento llama, solitario, río.
Disuelto ya en tu nieve el nombre mío,
vuélvete a tus montañas trepadoras
ciervo de espuma, rey del monterío.
De «Marinero en tierra»
This is a sonnet, nicely constructed and neatly balanced to bring out characteristics of the two poets. The first four lines are focussed on Lorca, inviting him to come out from the fields and cities where he is at home, and come towards the sea, where Alberti is in his element. Lorca would be like a deer moving like water towards the sea, a sea swirling round like a kingfisher’s nest. The second four lines has the poet Alberti moving in the opposite direction, coming out of the sea to meet Lorca, like a log washed up on the shore after a storm. Thus we have a vision of the two poets, meeting like forces of nature on the wild shore, each having sought out the other.
The final six lines have Alberti writing his name in the waters of the river, symbolically but transitorily, for Lorca to internalise and then return inland to the mountains where he is the king, the deer who roams the slopes. Thus each of the two poets has come to the other and has taken something from the other, in terms of the tradition, the sensibility, the fellow-feeling of two poets steeped in their art.
The Poetry Dude