10 LYRICS BY LORCA: 6 THE KEENING


Like the Gacela, a Casida is a form of arabic verse that deals in themes of love. The Spanish word llanto is the ordinary word for weeping but I have rendered it, in more heightened form, as 'keening' because there is something more insistent and more public here, something like a ritualised lament .


Casida del Llanto                                                The keening

Ho cerrado mi balcón                                                       I’ve shut my balcony door
porque no quiero oír il llanto,                                           because I will not hear the keening,
pero por detrás de los grises muros                                  but the other side of the grey walls
no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.                                      the only sound is the keening.                                  

Hay muy pocos ángeles que canten                                  There’s a handful of angels that sing,
hay muy pocos perros que ladren,                                     there’s a handful of hounds that bark,
mil violines caben en la palma de mi mano.                     a thousand violins nestle my palm.

Pero el llanto es un perro immenso,                                  But the keening is an immense hound,
el llanto es un angel immenso,                                          the keening is an immense angel,
el llanto es un violín immense,                                          the keening is an immense violin,
las lágrimas amordazan al viento,                                     tears muzzle the wind,
y no se oye otra cosa que el llanto.                                    and the only sound is the keening.

Posted on July 27th, 2020

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