The horse of Federico Garcia Lorca
There have been many authors who have given prominence to the horse in his work. As we have seen throughout numerous articles, painters, sculptors among others, have put the horse in the first row of his work. One of them was Federico García Lorca
Today we will talk about a great writer who has placed the horse as a symbol in an important place of his work. Today we will talk about Federico García Lorca and the horse in his work.
Many writers have given a preeminent place to the horse among his prose, verses, metaphors and great stories.
Eloy Cebrian (or better known as Eloy M. Cebrian) has written at least 4 books about the memoirs of Alexander the Great but from the perspective of Bucéfalo, his horse. Also the journalist Hans-Heinrich Isenbart who became a sports commentator but also the author of the Great Book of the Horse. From Isenbart we spoke in the past and from Eloy Cebrian we will speak in future publications.
But today we will talk about the preeminent place of the horse in the symbolism with which Federico García Lorca has endowed his work.
Who is Federico García Lorca?
Federico García Lorca is one of the most important Spanish dramatists of the 20th century. Likewise, his character as a poet has stood out as one of the most read Spanish poets today. He also devoted himself to prose with enthusiasm, drawing and music. An integral artist in the whole rule.
Federico García Lorca was born into a well-to-do family with no pretensions. Belonging to the Generation of 27 within the neopopularist trend. A generation of artists that became popular in the context of a cultural movement around the homage to Luis Góngora made in 1927.
The mixture of the cultured and the popular in his work brings him closer to the people without distancing him from the most avant-garde literary trends.
Federico García Lorca and his youth
Born on June 5, 1898 in Granada under the name of Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca. His love for literature was stimulated by his mother Vicenta Lorca Romero who worked as a teacher. These early influences were very important for his artistic inclinations. In spite of this, Federico García Lorca inclined in his youth more for music than literature thanks to his taste for the piano.
In his youth he studied music with Manuel de Falla who, foreseeing Federico’s literary talent, decided to stimulate it. His personal differences in terms of style were also decisive for Federico García Lorca gradually define his artistic proposal away from the strict limits imposed by the musical style of his teacher. Because of this Federico García Lorca would be inclined towards the traditional freedom of poetry and theater. These forms of expression have always been closer to symbolism and hidden messages.
Within his work life and death go hand in hand … His need for duality is present in his symbols and in his work.
Death and life are always associated with the same symbol according to the context and its “movement”. Sexuality, life and death form the sacred triad of Lorca in regard to symbols of human experience and its drama.
Symbology in the work of Federico García Lorca
Federico Garcia Lorca consistently uses symbols in his poetry, something very common. While these symbols have a dominant interpretation, context and tone make these symbols even represent their opposite, within the understanding that both are a representation that are inseparably linked.
Some of the most recurring symbols in Lorca’s work are:
- The moon: It is the most widespread symbol within the work of Federico García Lorca. Its most recurrent meaning is the symbol of death, but also closely associated with the symbol of fertility, eroticism, sterility or beauty. The cycle of 28 days, both the cycle of the moon and the menstrual cycle are indissoluble elements that generate this association … Blood, death, life, fertility and eroticism in the understanding that the moon as inducer of those behaviors “to the shadow”. The moon as hypnosis and provocative … Light in the shadow to commit sin.
- Water: In Lorca’s work the flowing water becomes a symbol of life and vitality. It is the way life extends. When water is stagnant and without movement, water represents death. Is that the symbol is not purely the element but its context.
- The blood: representative of life as well as the moon, and when it is spilled, is the main symbol of death. Likewise blood can symbolize in women the fertile, the sexual. It is fundamental as we see that the symbol can not be clearly distinguished without its context.
- The horse and the rider: it is one of the recurring symbols in the work of Lorca. Federico García Lorca plays his symbolic triad. The horse and the rider carry with them the meaning of death but also and by their indivisible trinity are associated with vitality (life) and sexuality (fundamentally male eroticism)
Another Simbols of Federico García Lorca ‘s work
- The symbol of the bull: García Lorca, as a bullfighter, described his relationship with them in the following way: “I believe that bullfighting is the most cultured festival in the world. It is the pure drama in which the Spanish shed their best tears and their bile. It is the only place where he leaves with the security of seeing death surrounded by the most dazzling beauty (…) ». Although at present this vision of the bullfighting activity would awaken repulsion, especially that of the animal and anti-bullfighting defenders, we must remember that Lorca developed in an environment full of drama where the brute force is the only one recognized as the true force.
- Herbs: its fundamental value as a symbol is death however, as in the other cases, this interpretation varies according to the context.
- The metals: metals and the flashes of them in the light of the moon appear conform under the entity of white arms, univocally associated with tragedy and death.
The horse in the work of Federico García Lorca
It is to this last symbol, the horse, that we will dedicate a few additional lines to deepen the perception of the horse in the work of Federico García Lorca
Español / English
Por una vereda venía Don Pedro. / Don Pedro came along a path.
¡Ay, cómo lloraba / Oh, how I cried
el caballero!/Montaba en un ágil / the gentleman! / rode in an agile
caballo sin freno. / horse without brake.
Venía en la busca / I was looking for
del pan y del beso / of bread and kiss
todas las ventanas / all the windows
preguntan al viento / they ask the wind
por el llanto oscuro / by the dark weeping
del caballero. / of the gentleman.
Por el camino llano / On the flat road
dos mujeres y un viejo / two women and an old man
con velones de plata / with silver candles
van al cementerio. / they go to the cemetery.
Entre los azafranes / Among the crocuses
han encontrado muerto / they have found dead
al sombrío caballo / to the dark horse
de Don Pedro. / of Don Pedro.
Federico García Lorca
The horse in the work of Federico García Lorca represents that force that makes its way despite and that makes itself heard … That makes tremble and that it is life, it is strength and if it is tried to contain it is also death in what it becomes.
In the House of Bernarda Alba, the horse is the best expression of restrained passion. This “passion” kicks until it is released through escape or death … Life has to get exits and the horse expresses the imposing force of life.
The origin of the Horse in the work of Federico García Lorca
Likewise Federico García Lorca finds in the horse a close element thanks to his life in the field in his first years of life. A common symbol with which any common Spanish could feel identified. That force of neopopularism arising in the natural but hiding under its wings the symbols of those passions that it had to restrain.
The horse as the perfect symbol of that which can not be tamed or contained for too long … That which makes its way from life to escape or death and death in the work of Lorca because in a traditional society getting out of the norm was social death or better still death before the impossibility to fit.
Lorca’s horse was nothing more than the need to express his art and his sexual orientation. This need born in a repressed and traditionalist society that suffocated him. The same traditionalist society that finally shot him through the Franco regime … Life that leads to escape or death … The horse of Lorca is the life of Lorca
If you want to know more about Gustavo Mirabal or Equestrian Word, go to: