Carmen de los Mártires: Poetry in the Gardens

The Carmen de los Mártires is a site of more than seven hectares on the Mauror hill within the Alhambra complex, publicly owned and declared a Garden of Historical Interest in 1943. It contains a nineteenth-century mansion, Romantic gardens and Nasrid orchards, with extraordinary views of the city of Granada, the river Genil flood plain below and the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The Albaicín-Granada Public Agency, as part of the Granada Tourism Plan, in partnership with the Granada UNESCO City of Literature Programme under the auspices of Granada City Council’s Culture Department, has created a route called Poetas en el jardín de los Mártires (Poets at the Carmen de los Mártires Gardens). The idea has been to create a high-quality cultural product for tourists, enhance one of the city’s most special yet insufficiently known places, and strengthen Granada’s image as an international city of literature.

The poetry path runs through the most interesting parts of this history-soaked complex.  The poet St John of the Cross lived here between 1582 and 1588, when he was the prior of the Carmelite Convent of the Martyrs. These are the gardens where he composed the works that to this day represent the purest expression of mystical poetry. His memory lingers in the aqueduct that he had built next to the orchard and in the renowned St John’s cedar tree. The poet José Zorrilla, who wrote Don Juan Tenorio, also lived here while he was in Granada on his appointment as Spain’s poet laureate in 1889.

Today these literary gardens also house the best of contemporary poetry: the winners of the City of Granada–Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize, which year after year acknowledges the poets who have made the most significant contribution to Hispanic literature.

Fourteen enclaves for reading and contemplation. Fourteen corners filled with peace and beauty, inviting you to sit down and read some of the finest poets writing in Spanish.

I Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2004)

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Para que yo me llame Ángel González,
para que mi ser pese sobre el suelo,
fue necesario un ancho espacio
y un largo tiempo:
hombres de todo mar y toda tierra,
fértiles vientres de mujer, y cuerpos
y más cuerpos, fundiéndose incesantes
en otro cuerpo nuevo.
Solsticios y equinoccios alumbraron
con su cambiante luz, su vario cielo,
el viaje milenario de mi carne
trepando por los siglos y los huesos.
De su pasaje lento y doloroso
de su huida hasta el fin, sobreviviendo
naufragios, aferrándose
al último suspiro de los muertos,
yo no soy más que el resultado, el fruto,
lo que queda, podrido, entre los restos;
esto que veis aquí,
tan solo esto:
un escombro tenaz, que se resiste
a su ruina, que lucha contra el viento,
que avanza por caminos que no llevan
a ningún sitio. El éxito
de todos los fracasos. La enloquecida
fuerza del desaliento…

(From Áspero mundo, 1956)

Ángel González was born in Oviedo in 1925 and died in Madrid in 2008.  One of the so-called “1950 Generation” of poets, he wrote for the 1977 edition of Palabra sobre palabra, a compilation of his works published by that date: “The scene and time that correspond to my life made me a witness to countless violent events: revolution, civil war, dictatorship […]. Having thus been buffeted by fate, which wove its web without caring a jot for my own wishes, I resigned myself to studying law, a subject in which I had no interest whatsoever but which did not go against the practically compulsory customs that most young people of my age and social class subjected themselves to. […] I quickly got used to complaining in whispers, cursing to myself and speaking ambiguously, rarely and always about other things; in other words, the use of irony, metaphor, metonymy and reticence. If I ended up writing poetry it was, more than for any other reason, to make use of the modest skill that I had acquired by the mere act of living.”

Between 1970 and 1993 he taught at several universities in the United States. In 1985 he won the Prince of Asturias Literature Prize. In 1996 he was elected as a member of the Spanish Royal Academy and won the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry. In 2004 he was the inaugural winner of the Lorca International Poetry Prize.

His poetry collections include Áspero mundo (1956); Sin esperanza, con convencimiento (1961); Grado elemental (1962); Tratado de urbanismo (1967); Prosemas o menos (1985); Otoños y otras luces (2001); and Nada grave (published posthumously in 2008).

II Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2005)

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Miseria de la poesía

Me pregunto qué puedo hacer contigo
ahora que han pasado tantos años,
cayeron los imperios,
la creciente arrasó con los jardines,
se borraron las fotos
y en los sitios sagrados del amor
se levantan comercios y oficinas
(con nombres en inglés naturalmente).

Me pregunto qué puedo hacer contigo
y hago un pseudopoema
que tú nunca leerás
―o si lo lees,
en vez de una punzada de nostalgia,
provocará tu sonrisita crítica.

(From Irás y no volverás, 1973)

José Emilio Pacheco was born in Mexico City in 1939 and died there in 2014. A key figure in Mexican culture and letters, he was a contemporary of such writers as Sergio Pitol, Carlos Monsiváis and Eduardo Lizalde. Pacheco studied at UNAM and was a regular contributor to the leading cultural journals and supplements in Mexico in the 1960s. He translated T. S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde; taught at universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as at UNAM, his alma mater; researched at the Historical Studies centre of the National Institute of Anthropology and History; and he was a member of the National College and the Mexican Academy of Language. Holding honorary doctorates from several universities, he won many awards, including the Cervantes and Reina Sofía prizes in 2009, the Lorca International Poetry Prize in 2005 and the Pablo Neruda and Alfonso Reyes prizes in 2004.

His prolific body of work includes the poetry collections Los elementos de la noche (1963), El reposo del fuego (1966), No me preguntes cómo pasa el tiempo (1970), Irás y no volverás (1973), Islas a la deriva (1976) and Ciudad de la memoria (1990), anthologised in Tarde o temprano (poemas 1958-2009) (2009), as well as the short-story collections La sangre de Medusa y otros cuentos marginales (1959), El viento distante (1963) and El principio del placer (1972), and the novels Morirás lejos (1967) and Las batallas del desierto (1981).

III Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2006)

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El falso teclado

toca toca
todavía tus dedos se mueven bien
el dedo de la nieve y el de la miel
hacen lo suyo

nada suena mejor que el silencio
nuestro desvelo es nuestro bosque

aguza el oído como una hoz

a trillar lo invisible se ha dicho

para eso estamos
para morir
sobre la mesa silenciosa
que suena

(From El falso teclado, 2000)

Since her first collection, Ese puerto existe, was published in 1959, the Peruvian-born Blanca Varela (1929–2009) has been at the forefront of contemporary Hispano-American poetry. Unconditionally admired by Octavio Paz and, in Spain, by José Ángel Valente and many others, the poetry of Blanca Varela eschews formal brilliance and the facile use of the sensorial to astound us with its density of expression, its aesthetic asceticism and its never-ending search for the naked word. In his prologue for Ese puerto existe, Paz wrote: “She neither settles for what she discovers nor gets drunk on her own voice. With the instinct of the true poet, she knows when to keep quiet. Her poetry does not explain or argue. Nor is it a confidence. It is a sign, a spell with which to face, fight and approach the world.”

After studying humanities and education at San Marcos University, Varela travelled to Paris in 1947, where she lived for nearly a decade and came to meet other writers and artists including as Breton, Cortázar, Sartre, Michaux, Giacometti, Léger and Simone de Beauvoir. In 1962, after periods living in Washington (D.C.), Ithaca (New York) and Florence (Italy), she finally settled in Lima, her city of birth.

In 2006 she was awarded the third Lorca Prize, with the jury highlighting the rigour of her poetry. She also won the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry in 2007 and the Octavio Paz Prize in 2001.

In 1986 a compilation of her books appeared as Canto villano, and a definitive edition of her complete works was later published as Donde todo termina abre las alas (2000).

IV Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2007)

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Cuando yo aún soy la vida

La vida me rodea, como en aquellos años
ya perdidos, con el mismo esplendor
de un mundo eterno. La rosa cuchillada
de la mar, las derribadas luces
de los huertos, fragor de las palomas
en el aire, la vida en torno a mí,
cuando yo aún soy la vida.
Con el mismo esplendor, y envejecidos ojos,
y un amor fatigado.

¿Cuál será la esperanza? Vivir aún;
y amar, mientras se agota el corazón,
un mundo fiel, aunque perecedero.
Amar el sueño roto de la vida
y, aunque no pudo ser, no maldecir
aquel antiguo engaño de lo eterno.
Y el pecho se consuela, porque sabe
que el mundo pudo ser una bella verdad.

(From Aún no, 1971)

Francisco Brines was born in Oliva (Valencia, Spain) in 1932. He is a member of the group known as the “1950 Generation”, together with such other poets as Ángel González, José Ángel Valente, Jaime Gil de Biedma and Claudio Rodríguez.

He studied law at Deusto, Valencia and Salamanca and later humanities in Madrid. He taught Spanish at Oxford and in 2001 was elected as a member of the Spanish Royal Academy.

His poetry is characterised by its intense elegiac tone, constantly reflecting on the fleeting passage of time. His published collections include Las brasas (1960, Adonais Prize), Palabras a la oscuridad (1966, Critics’ Prize), Aún no (1971), Insistencias en Luzbel (1977), El otoño de las rosas (1986, National Literature Prize) and La última costa (Fastenrath Prize).

In 1999 he won the Spanish Literature Prize, in 2007 the fourth edition of the Lorca Prize, and in 2010 the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.

V Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2008)

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Día errante

Este día plomizo y frío
Con su fina llovizna ingrávida
Sus ojos soñolientos
Sus árboles desnudos que se yerguen
De cara al cielo bajo apretando los dientes
Su lúgubre penumbra ensimismada
No ha nacido aquí hoy
Llega desde otro sitio
Ha andado por el mundo desde siempre
Como un oscuro pensamiento errante

Nos trae de lejos su nostalgia extraña
Su fiel insumisión
Su proba extranjería insobornable
Y nos repite a solas en su rincón sombrío
Que sólo es puro y fuerte el pensamiento
Que alienta en la intemperie.

(From Misma juventud, 2000)

Tomás Segovia was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1927. He went into exile with his family in Mexico in 1940, after periods living in Paris and Casablanca. He taught at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and at Princeton. He edited the journal Plural and was a member of the editorial board of Vuelta. He died in Mexico City in 2011. His many publications include works of poetry, essays, fiction and drama. His poetry collections include El sol y su eco (1960), Anagnórisis (1967), Luz de aquí (1982), Lapso (1986), Noticia natural (1992), Misma juventud (2000), Día tras día (2005), Siempre todavía (2008) and Estuario (2011, Critics’ Prize). His published essays include Contracorrientes (1973), Poética y profética (1986) and Recobrar el sentido (2005), as well as the works of fiction Trizadero (1974) and Personajes mirando una nube (1981). He also translated Rilke, Nerval, Lacan, Agamben and Harold Bloom. He won the Octavio Paz Poetry in 2000 and Essay Prize and the Lorca Prize in 2008.

VI Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2009)

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Aniversario

La mitad de mi vida está
pendiente de la otra
mitad.
¿Hacia qué lado
se inclinan los recuerdos como el árbol
hacia los vientos dominantes?

Paso
a paso
ha venido emplazándome una misma
consoladora tregua de la edad.

Ahora es mañana, su duración es mía.
El ayer
pertenece, como la historia, a los demás.

(From Manual de infractores, 2005)

José Manuel Caballero Bonald was born in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, in 1926. A leading member of the 1950 Group, he taught Spanish literature at the National University of Colombia and Bryn Mawr College and also worked at the lexicography seminar of the Real Academia in Spain. He has been awarded the Critics’ Prize three times, twice as a poet and once as a novelist, as well as the Andalusian Literature Prize (1994), Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry (2004), National Literature Prize (2005), National Poetry Prize (2006) and, in 2009, the Lorca Prize.

His novels include Dos días de setiembre (1962), Ágata ojo de gato (1974), Toda la noche oyeron pasar pájaros (1981), En la casa del padre (1988) and Campo de Agramante (1992). He has also published two volumes of memoirs: Tiempo de guerras perdidas (1995) and La costumbre de vivir (2001).

His collections of poetry include Las adivinaciones (1952), Anteo (1956), Las horas muertas (1959), Pliegos de cordel (1963), Descrédito del héroe (1977), Laberinto de Fortuna (1984), Diario de Argónida (1997) and Manual de infractores (2005).

VII Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2010)

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Como un roce en sus labios

Que alguien pase mis páginas, pues que debo perderme
en la oscura raíz de mi arboleda. Puedo
escuchar cómo gime el silencio, y ya soy
solo un roce en sus labios, aunque el escribidor
de versos solo sea alguien que habla de cosas que no entiende.
Que me recorra un soplo, y pueda yo alcanzar
—sin que quizá me entienda— a escribir cada día
una línea distinta para inventar la vida que me falta,
y me aprenda, y me olvide, pues me sé de memoria después de tantos años.
No deteriora el tiempo la belleza:
la perfecciona en otra manera de hermosura.

(From Pérdidas y adioses, 2005)

María Victoria Atencia was born in Malaga, Spain, in 1931. Her published poetry collections include Arte y parte (1961), Marta & María (1976), Compás binario (1979), Paulina o el libro de las aguas (1984), Trances de Nuestra Señora (1986), De la llama en que arde (1988), La intrusa (1992), Las contemplaciones (1997), El hueco (2003), De pérdidas y adioses (2005) and El umbral (2011).

She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Malaga and has been awarded the Malaga Provincial Gold Medal and Freedom of Andalusia. In 2010 she won the seventh edition of the Lorca Prize and in 2014 the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.

VIII Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2011)

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El día, en apariencia

El día
en apariencia quieto,
sereno,
inmóvil,
ha hecho abrir el grano,
caer el pétalo,
crecer el pensamiento,
madurar el amor
o la guerra,
y, en un mismo
instante, nacer
y morir.

El día, en majestad,
el serenísimo.

(From Habana del centro, 1997)

Fina García Marruz was born in Havana in 1923. Hers is one of the most delicate, intimate voices in twentieth-century Cuban poetry and literature in Spanish. She was a member of the Orígenes (Origins) group, which revolutionised and modernised literature in Cuba beginning in the 1940s, and whose other members included her husband, Cintio Vitier, as well as José Lezama Lima, Eliseo Diego and Gastón Baquero. Fina García Marruz is the author of works including Las miradas perdidas (1951), Visitaciones (1970), Viaje a Nicaragua (1987) and Habana del centro (1997). An erudite essayist and scholar of the works of José Martí, she has written numerous essays, few of which have been published outside Cuba, including Temas martianos (with Cintio Vitier, 1969), Hablar de la poesía (1986) and Darío, Martí y lo germinal americano (2001). Shortlisted for the Cervantes and Juan Rulfo prizes, in 2007 she won the Pablo Neruda Prize, and in 2011 she was awarded both the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry and the eighth Lorca Prize.

IV Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2012)

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Cita

Junio acecha en la noche. Sus ojos amarillos
de rapaz carnicero fulgen entre las hojas
del magnolio y los ficus como en aquellas selvas
de Rousseau, fiera lánguida que el estío acollara
con mano que ciñendo va su caliente grupa,
su deseo atigrado presto a saltar caníbal
sobre el cuerpo en martelo. Tú también al aguardo
en el jardín nocturno de donde huyó la luna,
oyes leve la grava crujiendo en el sendero,
seguro de la res que te sigue fielmente
—entre los altos bojes, los sigilosos pasos—
para entrar, pues la noche del Bautista se inicia,
con buen pie en las magias carnales del verano.

(From Fieles guirnaldas fugitivas, 1990)

Pablo García Baena was born in Córdoba, Spain, in 1923. He is one of the founders of the Cántico group, together with Juan Bernier, Julio Aumente and the painters Miguel del Moral and Ginés Liébana. The brilliant, intense, precise poetry of Pablo García Baena can be found in such collections as Rumor oculto (1946), Mientras cantan los pájaros (1948), Antiguo muchacho (1950), Óleo (1958), Almoneda (1971), Antes que el tiempo acabe (1978), Fieles guirnaldas fugitivas (1990) and Los Campos Elíseos (2006).

Having previously won the Prince of Asturias Literature Prize (1984), Andalusian Literature Prize (1992) and Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry (2008), he was awarded the ninth Lorca Prize in 2012.

X Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2013)

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Boleros del resentido

Amada, no destruyas mi cuerpo,
no lo rompas, no toques sus costados heridos.
No me lastimes más.
Me duele el pelo al peinarme.
Duéleme el aliento.
Duéleme el tacto de una mano en otra.
No destruyas mi cuerpo
pensando en sus miserias:
doliendo a pierna suelta
se destruye él solo, amada,
como si creciera hacia una lanza
clavada en la cabeza.
Ya me destrozo, mira, no hieras,
suelta el arma, detente,
no pienses más, no odies,
dame sólo una tregua;
deja de respirar dos líneas de mi aire,
para que corrompa en paz esta carroña.

(From El tigre en la casa, 1970)

Born in Mexico City in 1929, Eduardo Lizalde studied law at UNAM. In 1956 he published his first collection of poems, La mala hora. During the same period he briefly joined the Mexican Communist Party and, with Enrique González Rojo and Marco Antonio Montes de Oca, founded a literary movement known as Poeticismo. Other significant works in his bibliography include the poetry collections Cada cosa es Babel (1966), El tigre en casa (1970), Caza mayor (1979) and Tabernarios y eróticos (1988), as well as the short stories published in La cámara (1960) and the essays Luis Buñuel, odisea del demoledor (1962) and Autobiografía de un fracas: El poeticismo (1981).

The motif of the tiger (a metaphorical instrument symbolising, as he describes it, the “image of death, destruction and also beauty”) runs throughout Lizalde’s work, almost as an obsession, to the extent that he has even been nicknamed “El Tigre”.

As a cultural curator he has served a director of the Casa del Lago at UNAM, as well as editing the cultural supplement of the newspaper Novedades for one year. He has been a member of the Mexican Academy of Language since 2007. His awards include the Xavier Villaurrutia Prize (1970), National Literature Prize (1988) and Alfonso Reyes Prize (2011). In 2013 he won the tenth edition of the Lorca Prize.

XI Premio Internacional de Poesía Ciudad de Granada Federico García Lorca (2014)

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Rafael Guillén, who was born in Granada in 1933, is a member of the 1950 group of Spanish poets. Awarded the National Literature Prize in 1994, he is considered to be one of the most important writers of his generation. His many achievements over a lengthy career include having helped to recover Andalusia’s poetic culture after the devastation of the Spanish Civil War.

In his early work one can appreciate the neoclassical influence that weighed heavily on the other members of his generation, but his attraction for the popular (Cancionero-guía para andar por el aire de Granada, 1962) would soon lighten this, and by the 1960s he abandoned the rigidity of traditional metre. With the publication of Moheda (1979), he surprised readers with the uninhibited, innovative style of its syntax. His themes are not slight ones: love and eroticism tend to be combined with elegies for the inevitable decay of the passage of time, expressed in verses impregnated with musical cadences and phrasing.

His work in prose has taken the form of travel writing, autobiography, essays, lectures and articles.

Literary biography

Rafael Guillén was one of the poets who came to the fore with the “Versos al aire libre” group in Granada after the civil war. He went on to found and lead, with José García Ladrón de Guevara, the Veleta al Sur collection, which was the city’s source of poetic output between 1957 and 1966. In 1982, with Francisco Izquierdo, he launched “Los Papeles del Carro de San Pedro”, a series of part-works on the city’s Albaicín quarter. In 1994 he won the Spanish National Literature Prize for Poetry for Los estados transparentes. That same year he was a runner-up for the National Critics’ Prize, and together with other Granada writers (Elena Martín Vivaldi, Antonio Carvajal) he set the wheels in motion for the Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada, which was finally set up by the Andalusian Regional Government in 2001. In 2003 he was unanimously voted as the winner of the Andalusian Critics’ Prize. He had by this time already won many prizes, some of which were of great importance in their day, including the Leopoldo Panero Prize (1966), Guipúzcoa Prize (1968), Boscán Prize (1968) and the City of Barcelona Prize (1969). He also holds the Medal of Honour of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Granada and remains a member of the Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada.

A significant milestone in his literary career was the publication in 2010 of his complete works in three volumes, published by Editorial Almed, which led to his being awarded, the following year, the la concesión del Premio de las Letras Andaluzas Andalusian “Elio Antonio de Nebrija” Literature Prize “for his notable, multifaceted work in literature”.

In 2014, Rafael Guillén donated his library and personal archive to the Andalusian Library in Granada, and he was awarded the Lorca Prize the same year.

Poetry

  • Antes de la esperanza, introduction by J. M. Bugella, Granada, La Nube y el Ciprés, 1956.
  • Río de Dios, Granada, “Veleta al Sur”, 1957.
  • Pronuncio amor, Arcos de la Frontera, “Alcaraván”, 1960; 2nd ed., Granada, Veleta al Sur, 1961; 3rd and 4th eds., Málaga, Clave, 1995; 5th ed. (facsimile of the 2nd ed.), Diputación de Granada, 2014. ISBN 978-84-7807-202-6.
  • Elegía, Granada, Veleta al Sur, 1961.
  • Cancionero-guía para andar por el aire de Granada, Veleta al Sur (Granada, 1962); 2nd and 3rd eds. (extended edition), Miguel Sánchez (Granada, 1970 and 1993).
  • Canto a la esposa, Granada, Veleta al Sur, 1963.
  • El gesto, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Seijas y Goyanarte, 1964.
  • Hombre en paz, Madrid, Editora Nacional, 1966.
  • Apuntes de la corrida, Málaga, Cuadernos de María José, 1967.
  • Tercer gesto, Madrid, Cultura Hispánica, 1967 (Leopoldo Panero Prize, 1966).
  • Amor, acaso nada, Las Palmas, Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria, 1968.
  • Los vientos, Madrid, Revista de Occidente, 1970 (City of Barcelona Prize, 1969).
  • Límites, El Bardo (Barcelona, 1971); 2nd ed., Alhulia. Prologue by M. Ávila Cabezas and J. Ortiz de Lanzagorta (Salobreña, Granada, 2003).
  • Gesto segundo, Barcelona, Instituto de Estudios Hispánicos, 1972 (Boscán Prize, 1968; Guipúzcoa Prize, 1968).
  • Diez poemas terrales, “Almoraduj” collection, Publicaciones de la Librería Anticuaria El Guadalhorce (Málaga, 1977).
  • Moheda, Litoral, 85-86-87 (Málaga, 1979).
  • Veinte poemas risueños, Universidad de Granada, 1980.
  • Vasto poema de la resistencia, Granada, Diputación Provincial, 1981.
  • Azoteas en cal, Madrid, Azur (Los Papeles del Carro de San Pedro), 1982.
  • Mis amados odres viejos, Madrid, Rialp (Adonais), 1987.
  • Versos del amor cumplido, Colección Alhucema, (Almería, 1993). ISBN 84-604-5574-2
  • Los estados transparentes, Los Libros de la Frontera-El Bardo (Barcelona, 1993) ISBN 84-85709-94-2, National Literature Prize, 1994; 2nd edition (extended) with introduction by F. J. Peñas Bermejo, Valencia, Pre-Textos/Diputación Provincial de Granada (Granada, 1998). ISBN 84-8191-197-6
  • Doce poemas cardinales, Carmona (Seville), Palimpsesto, 1995.
  • Dos poemas noruegos, Motril (Granada), Cuadernillos Torre de la Vela, 1995.
  • El manantial(Homenajes 1965–1996), Córdoba, CajaSur (Los Cuadernos de Sandua), 1996.
  • Variaciones temporales, ed. J. Ortega Torres, Granada, Dauro, 2001.
  • I´m Speaking, Northwestern University Press, (Evanston, Illinois, 2001). Anthology in bilingual edition with English translations by Sandy McKinney. ISBN 0-8101-1851-3
  • Las edades del frío, Barcelona, Tusquets, 2002 (Andalusian Critics’ Prize, 2003). ISBN 84-8310-840-2
  • Catorce poemas de amor y tiempo, Badajoz, Aula Enrique Díez-Canedo, 2004.
  • Seis poemas elegíacos, Desde el empotro (Tertulia literaria del Grupo A-7), (Valdepeñas, 2004).
  • Los dominios del cóndor, EDA Libros (Benalmádena, 2007).
  • Obras completas, Almed, 3 vols. (Granada, 2010). Andalusian Critics’ Prize. ISBN 978-84-937644-2-5
  • Balada en tres tiempos (para contrabajo y frases cotidianas), with printed music by Xavier Astor. Diputación de Granada (Granada, 2013). ISBN 978-84-7807-140-1
  • El otro lado de la niebla, Salto de Página (Madrid, 2013). ISBN 978-84-15065-51-7
  • El centro del silencio: Selección de poemas (1956–2013). Entorno Gráfico Ediciones (Granada, 2014). ISBN 978-84-941986-5-6

Fiction

  • El país de los sentidos(Moroccan prose), Granada, Caja General de Ahorros de Granada, 1990.
  • Tiempos de vino y poesía(Granada prose), Granada, Port-Royal, 2000.
  • Por el ancho y pequeño mundo(travel writing), Málaga, Rafael Inglada, 2001.
  • Prosas viajeras(collection), Granada, Dauro, 2003.

Essays

  • Renacer poético en la Granada de postguerra(Versos al aire libre group) (speech on admission to the Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada), Granada, Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada, 2003.
  • Francisco Izquierdo: un nombre granadino para la Historia de las Letras y del Arte en el siglo XX(speech on admission as full member of the Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada), Granada, Academia de Buenas Letras de Granada, 2004.

Recordings

  • Los alrededores del tiempo(Rafael Guillén dice sus poemas). Xavier Astor. Ed. Ficciones-Revista de Letras. JASS034CD/01 Granada, 2001.
  • La voz y la palabra (Principios de la neolengua II).Includes “Madrigal para tu voz desmantelada” (extract from the CD Los alrededores del tiempo). Producciones Peligrosas. JA55044CD/2 Granada, 2002.

Studies of his works

The works of Rafael Guillén have been the subject of numerous studies, including that by José Ortega, who dedicated his graduation paper to him (“Aproximación a la poesía de Rafael Guillén”) in 1971. José Luis Cano focused on one of the permanent features of Guillén’s writing in Un tema en la poesía de Rafael Guillén: la erosión del tiempo en el amor (Litoral, 85, 86 and 87; 1979). In Historia crítica de la literatura hispánica (Taurus), Vol. 21, “La poesía en el siglo XX (desde 1939)”, Pilar Palomo studied him in the “Poetas de los 50” section, as she had also done in the extended edition of Historia de la literatura española by Angel Valbuena (Gustavo Gili), who in 1968 devoted a lengthy chapter to “one of today’s best poets”. Pilar Gómez Bedate in Historia de la literatura española (Cátedra), Elena Barroso in Poesía andaluza de hoy (1950–1990) (Biblioteca de la Cultura Andaluza) and Angel L. Prieto de Paula in Poetas españoles de los cincuenta (Biblioteca Hispánica, Ediciones Colegio de España, Salamanca), among others, also ranked him among the most important writers of his generation, while , Joaquín Marco, in la Historia y crítica de la literatura española (Grijalbo), edited by Francisco Rico, positioned him generically among the “post-war poets”, and Emilio Miró, in Historia de la literatura española (Taurus), edited by Díez Borque, among those who “occupy an undisputed position in our poetry scene”. Many other authors have addressed his works in monographs and PhD dissertations.


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Gacela de la muerte oscura

Quiero dormir el sueño de las manzanas,
alejarme del tumulto de los cementerios.
Quiero dormir el sueño de aquel niño
que quería cortarse el corazón en alta mar.

No quiero que me repitan que los muertos no pierden la sangre;
que la boca podrida sigue pidiendo agua.
No quiero enterarme de los martirios que da la hierba,
ni de la luna con boca de serpiente
que trabaja antes del amanecer.

Quiero dormir un rato,
un rato, un minuto, un siglo;
pero que todos sepan que no he muerto;
que haya un establo de oro en mis labios;
que soy un pequeño amigo del viento Oeste;
que soy la sombra inmensa de mis lágrimas.

Cúbreme por la aurora con un velo,
porque me arrojará puñados de hormigas,
y moja con agua dura mis zapatos
para que resbale la pinza de su alacrán.

Porque quiero dormir el sueño de las manzanas
para aprender un llanto que me limpie de tierra;
porque quiero vivir con aquel niño oscuro
que quería cortarse el corazón en alta mar.

(From Diván del Tamarit)

Federico García Lorca, who was born in Fuentevaqueros, near Granada, in 1898 and died in 1936, is the best-known Spanish writer in the world after Cervantes. Translated into numerous languages, his plays are performed as classics the world over, and the number of studies, books and articles about his life and works only continues to grow.

Poetry: Libro de poemas (Book of Poems, 1921), Poema del cante jondo (Poem of Deep Song, written in 1921 and published in 1931), Suites (written between 1921 and 1923), Primeras canciones (First Songs, 1936), Canciones (Songs, 1927), Romancero gitano (Gypsy Ballads, 1928), Seis poemas galegos (Six Galician Poems, 1935). During his time in New York (1929–30) he wrote Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York), which was published posthumously in 1940. On his return to Spain he wrote Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías) and Diván del Tamarit (Diwan of the Tamarit) as well as the Sonetos de amor oscuro series (Sonnets of Dark Love, mostly written in 1935 but not published in full until 1983).

Plays: El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly’s Evil Spell, 1920), Tragicomedia de don Cristóbal y la señá Rosita (The Tragicomedy of Don Cristóbal and Señorita Rosita, 1922), La zapatera prodigiosa (The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife, 1923–1930 and 1933), Mariana Pineda (1927), Retablillo de don Cristóbal (Don Cristóbal’s Puppet Show, 1934), Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín (The Love of Don Perlimplín for Belisa in His Garden, written between 1922 and 1926 and first performed in 1933). His trip to New York and Havana resulted in several works that he did not believe it possible to stage at the time, such as Así que pasen cinco años (When Five Years Pass), El public (The Public) and the unfinished Comedia sin título (Untitled Comedy). Commercial success came to him towards the end of his short life with Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding, 1933), Yerma (1934) and Doña Rosita la soltera o el lenguaje de las flores (Doña Rosita the Spinster, or The Language of Flowers, 1935). The first production of La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba) was in 1945.

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Canciones entre el alma y el Esposo

Esposa

¿Adónde te escondiste,
Amado, y me dejaste con gemido?
Como el ciervo huiste,
habiéndome herido;
salí tras ti clamando, y eras ido.

Pastores, los que fuerdes
allá por las majadas al otero,
si por ventura vierdes
Aquel que yo más quiero,
decidle que adolezco, peno y muero.

Buscando mis amores,
iré por esos montes y riberas;
ni cogeré las flores,
ni temeré las fieras,
y pasaré los fuertes y fronteras.

(From Cántico espiritual)

The poet St John of the Cross (in Spanish, “San Juan de la Cruz”) was born as Juan de Yepes Álvarez in Fontiveros (Ávila) en 1542 and died in en Úbeda (Jaén) in 1591. He reformed the Order of Carmelites and, with Teresa of Ávila, co-founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Amid the struggles between the Calced and Discalced Carmelite factions, Juan de Yepes was arrested in 1577 and taken to the Carmelite friary in Toledo, where he was forced to appear before a tribunal to renounce the reforms that Teresa of Ávila had begun and he had followed. When he refused to comply, he was imprisoned for eight months in a monk’s cell, where he began to write Cántico espiritual and other poems.

In 1579 he moved south to Baeza (Jaén), and in January 1582 he travelled on to Granada, where he remained until mid-1588, following his appointment as third definer and prior of the convent of the Martyrs. This is where he would write a large number of his most significant works. He died in Úbeda three years later.

Juan de Yepes was beatified by Pope Clement X in 1675 and canonised as St John of the Cross by Benedict XIII in 1726.

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Un recuerdo y un suspiro

II

Poeta, ven y cantemos
A una voz nuestros amores;
En un arpa los lloremos,
Que bien cobijarse vemos
A un árbol dos ruiseñores.

Yo tu dolor cantaré,
Tú cantarás mi dolor,
Que igual el de entrambos fue,
Y harto yo solo lloré
Una mujer, un amor.

Hagamos doliente y tierno
A nuestro canto improviso,
Del mundo un recuerdo eterno,
Y donde estuvo un infierno
Alcemos un paraíso.

José Zorrilla, who was born in Valladolid in 1817 and died in Madrid in 1893, garnered huge success in his day in all genres of poetry: lyrical, epic and dramatic.

“For his mythic tales he took from the religious, popular and folk traditions, and his delicate lyricism, sense of harmony and irrepressible fantasy made him the most admired poet of his time. […] Zorrilla is still viewed today as the poet of the mythic and fantastic. […] Following the presentation of the great romantic dramas of the 1830s, Zorrilla dominated the Spanish scene between 1839 and 1849 with his own, conventionally historical works set in the Middle Ages or the Golden Century (which straddled the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), which were close to cloak-and-dagger comedies , brimming with patriotic elation and with characters that represented idealized virtues of the Spanish character. Don Juan Tenorio is the country’s most popular and most frequently formed romantic play. As Galdós put it, nobody else has had such enthusiastic followers, vehement supporters or such fanatical admirers.”

—Salvador García Castañeda

José Zorrilla stayed at the Carmen de los Mártires between 15 June  and July 1889, while he was in Granada to receive his appointment as Spain’s poet laureate at the Charles V Palace, part of the Alhambra complex.