Friday, May 6, 2011

La Monja Gitana

La Monja Gitana

Federico Garcia Lorca

Silence of white lime and myrtle.

Mallows blooming among meadow grasses.
The gypsy nun embroidering gillyflowers
on a lemon cloth.
In the ashen chandelier
fly the seven prismatic birds.
A bear on its back; the church
growling in the distance.
How ingeniously she sews! And with such grace!
She is hungry to embroider on the lemon
cloth flowers of her pleasure.
What a sunflower! What magnolias
of filigrees and spangles!
Such saffron, such moonflower
across the hallowed cloth!
In the nearby kitchen,
five grapefruit ripening:
the five wounds of Christ,
cut in Almería.
Through the nun’s eyes
two gypsy outlaws gallop.
A dull and forbidding sigh
loosens and lifts the chemise
from her body and seeing
clouds and mountains
across the inert distance,
her heart of lemon yerbaluisa
and sugar comes undone.
Ai, what a rising plateau
with twenty suns shining above!
And what rivers, rising on their feet,
has her fantasy has glimpsed!
But she endures with her flowers,
while, all around in the wind,
the light plays the high game of chess
across the latticework of the windows.