The Good Night and Good Morning of Federico Garcia Lorca

The Good Night and Good Morning of Federico Garcia Lorca

He knew he was asleep and was dreaming
??????Of a beautiful poem. It seemed to be singing
????????????Itself in the night, and he woke???
In a bed in a room in an old hotel???
?????And lay there, hearing the song go on???
????????????Though he could see the shape??
Of his empty shirt on the straight chair???
??????And his empty shoes on the patch of carpet
???????????Made light, half by the moon???
And half by the gray beginning???
??????Of dawn. He could see the silhouette?
????????????Of his own hand against the window shade???
Like a flower, open and waiting. He smiled???
??????At the foolishness of loving his own poem?
???????????In his own dream, of accepting praise???
From his own shadow. But his mind’s eye???
??????Kept seeing that poem and his real ear???
????????????Kept hearing that same song. It came from the street???
Under his window, and before he knew why,???
??????He was out of bed and shivering his way clumsily?
???????????Into what were some of his clothes???
And one of his shoes and stumbling???
??????Into the hall and down the unlighted stairs???
????????????And through the lobby (where the clerk was dreaming
Something else), through the stubbornly locked door???
??????And along the sidewalk to the curb where the singer???
????????????Was sweeping trash and leaves along the gutter???
With his slow broom, who now stopped, his mouth???
??????Open to gape at an apparition???
????????????Holding a scrap of paper up to his face???
And begging him to read aloud. The sweeper whispered???
??????He couldn’t read. And Lorca took him???
????????????Into his arms and kissed him and kissed???
The morning air, now stirring what was left???
??????Of the leaves overhead, and went limping back???
????????????Through a door that stood wide open???
And a grand lobby and up the stairs into bed???
??????To lie there stark awake as sleeplessly???
????????????As a poet who’d been told he was immortal.

'The Good Night and...' from Good Morning and Good Night: poems (University of illinois Press, 2005) copyright? 2005 by David Wagoner, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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