Neruda, Lorca, Hirsch and the Duende

Malaguena


Death
comes and goes
from the tavern

Passing along the deep
paths of the guitar are
midnight horses
and sinister personas

There is the smell
of brine and the blood
of female comrades
in the sickly ferns of the
shipyard

Death
comes and goes
goes and comes
from the tavern
– Lorca
This will be a complex influence. It includes Edward Hirsch’s writings on duende (Edward Hirsch, “The Duende,” The American Poetry Review (July/August 1999), 13.), Garcia Lorca’s poetry and writings on duende (here’s an excellent lecture: http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Spanish/LorcaDuende.htm), and Pablo Neruda’s exhortation (at a Neruda/Lorca reading event in Buenos Aires, circa 1933) for the audience to take part, to “hunt the spirit of the words at the speed of the voice”.

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