LEADERS - not followers

Saturday, July 31, 2010



This is the last of the Language Sprinkle Series..Spanish
Here is an extract of a poem by Pablo Neruda.
Write a poem with a few Spanish sprinkles based on Neruda
or another Spanish poet of your choice.
As always please provide translations.

Statue of Federico Garcia Lorca
in Plaza de Santa Ana, Madrid

Click to hear Spanish Bombs
by The Clash


It takes both feet
Left as well as Right
To obey marching orders

Am I Right, or am I… wrong?

Command given
Rapid, the response
Left, right; left, right; left, right; left…

Halt…! That sounds a bit too fast

Right here, in Spain
The pace is slower
Iz-qui-er-do, De-re-cho

Izquierdo, Derecho

…But we have wings
Right-wing and Left-wing
Falange – Republicano

Who’s Right…? And what’s left?

Left for Madrid
Right at the wrong time
Three days before it began

The Spanish Civil War… right…?

Just one month in
My brother-in-law
Shot dead by war criminals

No summertime siesta…

‘I realised’
The very next day
‘I had been murdered… They looked…

But they did not find me… No’

‘Verde, que te quiero verde’


Inspired by the death of Federico Garcia Lorca
At Fuente Grande – Fountain of Tears

I realised I had been murdered… They looked…
But they did not find me… No

Extracts from Jan Morris, describing how
Federico Garcia Lorca foretold his own fate

Verde, que te quiero verde
Green, how I love you green
From Ballad of the sleepwalker


  1. As it so happens, I'm in the midst of writing a piece inspired by Lorca too (though more generally about the "disappeared" from that period). It's such a shame that the Spanish refuse to come to terms with that past.

  2. Thanks Francis. I think the world was a very confused place during that period - a time best forgotten, for some...

  3. I think you have portrayed the confusion really well. What an interesting (if cruel) period that was.

  4. Stan quite an interesting portrayl of what happened during those times.
    As I am sure you know the Spanish are not looked upon well here in Mexico
    Nice job!

  5. Thanks to;
    ViV; I'm not sure it's any less confused now - just a matter of time before...
    Pamela; Most countries have historical reasons for theit attitude towards certain nationalities.

  6. I find Lorca's presentiment very frightening. Your poem reflects the horror of the times.

  7. Thanks Rall; I'm not sure if he took sides - perhaps sympathies for both. Not with us, must be against us...?

  8. I read Victoria Hislop's book 'The Return' last year and although it may not be to everyone's taste it gave a vivid and distressing account of this period, where friends, neighbours and families were split by the war. Your play on left, right sums up the dichotomy.

  9. Thanks Derrick; That has to be the scariest thing about civil war.