Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Sonnets of Dark Love

Paul Archer has translated into English Lorca's Sonetos del Amor Oscuro, Sonnets of Dark Love. Please click on the titles further down this page to read the poems.

The sequence of poems were written in 1935, inspired by Lorca's love affair with Rafael Rodriguez Rapún. They were not published until 1983 when they appeared in an unauthorised limited edition, followed by publication under the auspices of the Lorca Estate as a supplement to the Madrid daily newspaper A.B.C. in March, 1984.

In the translations that follow I have tried to create English versions that have the look and feel of Lorca's sonnets and bring the reader as close as possible to the original poems. They therefore rhyme as they do in the original Spanish, but I have given myself considerable leeway in allowing assonance, or half-rhymes, and not necessarily strictly obeying the rhyming structure that Lorca used. Such leeway was needed as my over-riding concern was fidelity to the meaning of the poems, and merely adding English words or phrases just for the sake of a rhyme would not, I feel, be of any benefit to the reader who wishes to experience as authentically as possible the power of the original poems.

Sonnet of the garland of roses
Sonnet of the sweet complaint
Love's wounds
The poet begs his beloved to write to him
The poet tells the truth
The poet talks on the telephone with his beloved
The poet asks his beloved about the 'Enchanted City' of Cuenca
Sonnet in the style of Gongora in which the poet sends his beloved a dove
Oh secret voice of dark love
The beloved sleeps on the poet's breast
Night of sleepless love

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