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Arbolé, Arbolé

Federico García Lorca 1898 (Fuente Vaqueros) – 1936 (Alfacar)

Tree, tree
dry and green.

The girl with the pretty face
is out picking olives.
The wind, playboy of towers,
grabs her around the waist.
Four riders passed by
on Andalusian ponies,
with blue and green jackets
and big, dark capes.
'Come to Cordoba, muchacha.'
The girl won't listen to them.
Three young bullfighters passed,
slender in the waist,
with jackets the color of oranges
and swords of ancient silver.
'Come to Sevilla, muchacha.'
The girl won't listen to them.
When the afternoon had turned
dark brown, with scattered light,
a young man passed by, wearing
roses and myrtle of the moon.
'Come to Granada, inuchacha.'
And the girl won't listen to him.
The girl with the pretty face
keeps on picking olives
with the grey arm of the wind
wrapped around her waist.
Tree, tree
dry and green.

Translated by William Logan

Original Spanish

Arbolé, arbolé,
seco y verdí.

La niña del bello rostro
está cogiendo aceituna.
El viento, galán de torres,
la prende por la cintura.
Pasaron cuatro jinetes
sobre jacas andaluzas,
con trajes de azul y verde,
con largas capas oscuras.
'Vente a Córdoba, muchacha.'
La niña no los escucha.
Pasaron tres torerillos
delgaditos de cintura,
con trajes color naranja
y espadas de plata antigua.
'Vente a Córdoba, muchacha.'
La niña no los escucha.
Cuando la tarde se puso
morada, con lux difusa,
pasó un joven que llevaba
rosas y mirtos de luna.
'Vente a Granada, muchacha.'
Y la niña no lo escucha.
La niña del bello rostro
sigue cogiendo aceituna,
con el brazo gris del viento
ceñido por la cintura.
Arbolé, arbolé.
Seco y verdé.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Federico García Lorca

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He was executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. In 2008, a Spanish judge opened an investigation into Lorca's death. The García Lorca family eventually dropped objections to the excavation of a potential gravesite near Alfacar. However, no human remains were found. more…

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