"Oh, Cross! Oh, Nails! Oh, Thorn!"

By: Erin Sessions  

Perhaps Spain's best poet and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca, was a self-proclaimed "anarchical-Catholic" and "a poet from birth and unable to help it." Adding to our enduring memory of Lorca is the mysterious circumstances of his death, having been assassinated by Nationalist forces at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. His early "Libro de Poemas" (1921) traverses the themes of religion and isolation. Later, Lorca's affinity for "deep song" provides the context for his "Romancero Gitano" (1928) and "Poema del cante jondo" (1931). Their eroticism and existentialism mirror his own exploration of sexuality and self. His anguish is palpable as his conception of religion and sexuality shift and prove anathema to the Catholic faith of of his youth. By the time he was writing his 'Poeta en Nueva York', Lorca's poetry had abandoned the lyricism of his earlier work and moved to expressions of alienation and dislocation. This paper analyses the religious symbolism of Lorca's poetry and investigates whether his developing use of symbolism over time reflects his changing attitude toward, and philosophy of, religion.

Poetry, Symbolism, Catholicism, Politics, Social Agendas
2019 Special Focus—Universal Religious Symbols: Mutual Influences and Specific Relationships
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Erin Sessions

Associate Academic Dean, -, Morling College, Australia