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06 July 2012

On a statue of Federico García Lorca

In a Madrid plaza, Federico García Lorca stands
In stone, a stone dove flutters in his hands
And tourists take their snapshots

The real García Lorca, the flesh and bone man, was shot
And his body tossed in an unknown ditch to rot
And fertilize the flowers of modern Spain

And in that statuary plaza in Madrid, in Castilian sun and rain
A leftist daily puts a red ribbon round the statue-neck in vain
As a Fascist daily cuts the ribbon down

In two gestures by old guards who plant and resurrect him from the ground
García Lorca smiles as the old war rages with neither blood nor sound
And the birds shit on his statuary head

The people want to rescue Lorca’s body and put it with the noble dead
But can’t remember what patch of flowered earth became his bed
And so reverently clean the birdshit off his statue head

For what is dead is dead, and cannot be undead, and memories remain instead
In the gestures of the old guards who put and cut the ribbon near his head
That noble ribbon, taken at night and in the morning glowing red

R. R. Shea


  1. I have a blog called Spain in Your Veins and will be re-publishing the above poem with full credit and link to you of course. Beautiful!

  2. Your site has been linked to Spain in Your Veins to blog Let Us Mourn Lorca,.