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Federico Garcia Lorca

also known as Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca

director , dramatist , poet

Federico García Lorca is possibly the most important Spanish poet and dramatist of the twentieth century.. Much of García Lorca's work was infused with popular themes such as Flamenco and Gypsy culture. In 1922, García Lorca organized the first "Cante Jondo" festival in which Spain's most famous "deep song" singers and guitarists participated. His dramatic trilogy, Bodas de Sangre, is still performed around the world.


Lorca, Federico Garcia was born on June 5, 1899 in Fuente Vaqueros, near Granada, Spain.


He studied law at the University of Granada and literature at Madrid, and while quite young he developed an interest in music, being encouraged in that field by Manuel de Falla, who introduced him to the cante jondo, or "deep song," one of the most ancient and characteristic Andalusian provincial types. Lorca also had a talent for painting and in 1927 displayed his work in Barcelona.


While on a short visit to New York two years later he wrote a book of poems, Poeta en Nueva York (published posthumously in 1940; The Poet in New York and Other Poems, 1940), and on his return to Spain his versatility was still further marked by his appointment as codirector of La Barraca (The Barrack), a performing company of students that repopularized the classical theater throughout Spain. Lorca went to Buenos Aires in 1933 to direct the presentation of his dramatic works. In August 1936, when he was in Granada, he was killed by Franco supporters, though he had no political affiliation.

GarcíaGarcia Lorca was the most popular Spanish poet of the post-Civil War period, but it was his dramatic works that gave him an international fame. His first book, Libro de poemas (1921), is clearly under the influence of those leaders of 20th-century Spanish poetry RubénRuben DaríoDario and Juan RamónRamon Jiménez,Jimenez, but even here two of Lorca's basic and distinctive characteristics are quite evident, the musical quality of his verse and its popular inspiration. Both elements are closely integrated, for while Lorca takes his inspiration from the themes of popular songs, he gives to them a new poetic value, both in subject matter and form. His second book, Canciones (1927; "Songs"), is a total transformation of the old themes into something completely new. The style is wholly personal and instantly recognizable, but there is in addition, particularly in the CanciónCancion del jinete ("Song of the Horseman"), a new phase, the realization of which could be called Lorca's integrating mission. He here injects a completely lyrical note into the dramatic conception of life found in the Andalusian songs, and it is here that his peculiar poetic characteristic comes to the foreground. Beneath the lyric form there is a violent emotional stirring which reflects his vision of life as dramatic destiny.

This dramatic concept, expressed in lyric form, was ably portrayed in the two books which contributed most to Lorca's popularity, the Primer romancero gitano (1928; "First Gypsy Romancero") and El Poema del cante jondo (1931). In both works there is a vision of man dominated by the fatal destiny of death and of passion. The poet alludes to objects and scenes common to the daily life of Andalusia, strictly localizes the cities, describes the elements of nature, and at the same time transforms all this into a fantastic and unreal world in which the forces of nature take charge of the human tragedy they witness and become active agents in the drama.

As a natural development from the dramatic quality of his earlier writing Lorca presently passed from lyric poetry to creative activity in the drama. In 1930 he turned to the theater in earnest and produced La Zapatera prodigiosa (The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife, 1941), which he followed in 1933 by the Amor de Don PerlimplínPerlimplin con Belisa en su jardínjardin (The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden, 1941). It was in the latter year, too, that he brought out his first great dramatic work, the tragedy Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding, 1939), shown for the first time in Madrid on Mar. 8, 1933. The year 1933 assumed an important place in the history of Spanish literature because it marked the beginning of a new and superior type of theater, the poetic as contrasted to the realistic one that had been dominant until then. Bodas de sangre enjoyed an immediate success and was soon translated into English, French, and other languages.

Lorca also wrote two other tragedies, Yerma (1935; English translation, 1941) and La Casa de Bernarda Alba (1936; "The House of Bernarda Alba"). In 1935, turning back to lyric poetry, he also published Llanto por Ignacio SánchezSanchez MejíasMejias ("Lament for Ignacio SánchezSanchez Mejías,Mejias," in Poems, 1938), written upon the death of that famous bullfighter, who was his personal friend.


  • Other Work

    • Author: (public in English translation) Bitter Oleander, 1935 (as Blood Wedding 1939). Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter and Other Poems, 1937. Poems, 1939


Roman Catholic


Many anti-communists were sympathetic to Lorca or assisted him.


Quotations: As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.


  • Artists

    Salvador Dali