Frederico Garcia Lorca:

Canción del Jinete/Song of the Horseman


Canción del Jinete

Lejana y sola.

Jaca negra, luna grande,
y aceitunas en mi alforja.
Aunque sepa los caminos
yo nunca llegaré a Cordoba.

Por el llano, por el viento,
jaca negra, luna roja.
La muerte me esta mirando
desde las torres de Cordoba.

Ay que camino tan largo!
Ay mi jaca valerosa!
Ay que la muerte me espera,
antes de llegar a Cordoba!

Lejana y sola.


Song of the Horseman

Far off and solitary.

A black horse, a round moon,
there are olives in my pack.
Although I know the roads
I will never get to Cordoba.

Across the plain, into the wind,
a black horse, a red moon.
Death is staring at me
from the towers of Cordoba.

Oh, how long is the road!
Oh, how brave is my horse!
Oh, see how death is waiting for me,
before I get to Cordoba!

Far off and solitary.


This poem by Frederico Garcia Lorca (1898 – 1936) remains one of the most stunning pieces of artless art of the 20th century. In its simplicity and craftsmanship it resembles a small but flawless diamond and has made Cordoba known to enchanted and humbled translators of almost every language.

For this poem alone I am glad I made the long effort to learn Spanish.

Please note that the translation, though my absolutely best effort, is little more than a general guide to the dictionary meanings of the words - it is a holiday snap rather than an artist's painting.

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