Monday, January 7, 2013

January 5th

The Dawn

The New York dawn has
four columns of mud
and a hurricane of black doves
that paddle in putrescent waters.

The New York dawn grieves
along the immense stairways,
seeking amidst the groins
spikenards of fine-drawn anguish.

The dawn comes and no one receives it in his mouth,
for there no morn or hope is possible.
Occasionally, coins in furious swarms
perforate and devour abandoned children.

The first to come out understand in their bones
that there will be no paradise nor amours stripped of leaves:
they know they are going to the mud of figures and laws,
to artless games, to fruitless sweat.

The light is buried under chains and noises
in impudent challenge of rootless science.
Through the suburbs sleepless people stagger,
as though just delivered from a shipwreck of blood.
"The Dawn" by Federico García Lorca, from THE SELECTED POEMS OF FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA. Translated by Stephen Spender and J.L. Gili, copyright © 1955 by New Directions Publishing Corp.

Source: The Selected Poems of Federico Garc�a Lorca (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1955)
Although this would certainly be a challenging poem for middle school students, I've always thought it's a good idea to share poems from the range that's out there. I want them to see the possibilities, and explore language in ways they might not have been exposed to yet. Great examples of alliteration, personification, and metaphor worth going deep on. 

Plus, it's got that beautiful kind of morbid angst that middle schoolers just live in. Perfect for a dreary morning. 

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