We are pain and what cures pain, both.
We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.
I want to hold you close like a lute,
so that we can cry out with loving.
Would you rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror and here are the stones.
In the lover’s heart is a lute
Which plays the melody of longing
You say he looks crazy
But that’s only because your ears are not attuned
to the music he’s dancing to
You are sitting here with us,
but you are also out walking in a field at dawn.
You are yourself the animal we hunt
when you come with us on the hunt.
You are in your body
like a plant is solid in the ground,
yet you are wind.
You are the diver’s clothes
lying empty on the beach.
You are the fish.
In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like veins that are seen
when a wing is lifted up.
Your hidden self is blood in those,
those veins that are lute strings
that make ocean music,
not the sad edge of surf,
but the sound of no shore.
Venus touches the strings of her lute
to lure out essence of this poem
My heart is like a lute each chord crying with longing and pain.
My Beloved is watching me wrapped in silence.
aan zamzameyam ze paye taa sar hame ‘eshq
Haqqa keh be ‘ahdha nayaayam birun
Bar ‘ude delam nawaakht yak zamzameye ‘eshq
Az ‘ahdeye haqq gozaari yakdameye ‘eshq
On the lute of my heart plays only one song of love:
Because of this melody, from head to foot, I am in love.
Truly, for ages I’ll never be able
To pay what I owe for one moment of love.
(trans. William Chittick and P.L. Wilson)
Love plays its lute behind the screen –
where is a lover to listen to its tune?
With every breath a new song,
each split second a new string plucked.
The world has spilled Love’s secret –
when could music ever hold its tongue?
Every atom babbles the mystery –
Listen yourself, for I’m no tattletale!
by Federico García Lorca translated by Cola Franzen
The weeping of the guitar begins. The goblets of dawn are smashed. The weeping of the guitar begins. Useless to silence it. Impossible to silence it. It weeps monotonously as water weeps as the wind weeps over snowfields. Impossible to silence it. It weeps for distant things. Hot southern sands yearning for white camellias. Weeps arrow without target evening without morning and the first dead bird on the branch. Oh, guitar! Heart mortally wounded by five swords.
Six bars cage my lonely heart
And rattle with its sad love moans
Six stars cluster round my eye
and dance, shimmering on silver thrones
Six dark girls, three bronze, three thin
Sing sighing for their distant homes
Six hairs heave with love’s breath
Braid flames into my wooden bones
Six rivers run over my mouth
And ripple with its quiet groans
Six threads from your skirt’s wide hem
Have hooked my ear and won’t let go
Six barbed lines make a net to catch
My spirit in its shadowed grove
Six bolts of lightning flash across
My mouth, smiling as thunder rolls
My body pierced by music from
The six strings of this compound bow
These six veins wrap around my heart
And bleeding song from five swords’ strokes
Form six paths for your love to flow
Through my heartsick and stricken soul
And weave love’s sweet, sad melodies
Between your fingers; strikes and blows
Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.
“The guitar is fit for tender and sweet dialogue
with the girl we love
if the girl becomes disloyal to us
the cello—to confide our sorrow to a friend
and if the friend is also unfaithful
then the organ, to communicate
our affliction to God” ‘
– Andres Segovia The Guitar and I, Vol. 2 (1972. LP: MCA-2536)
In the violin and cello, we feel the human warmth of their timbres; and the guitar–the guitar condenses and refines the music played on it as the hundred fragrances of the forest are refined and condensed in a tiny flask.
I like very much the true flamenco, which is played with heavy fingers, roughly but from the soul. But flamenco has departed from the good simple tradition. The flamencos should not be professionals.
I belong to the scarce minority of artists who work in good faith, around whom the phenomenal world vanishes, as it happens to the mystics when they give themselves to prayer.
Among God’s creatures two, the dog and the guitar, have taken all the sizes and all the shapes, in order not to be separated from the man.
The advice I am giving always to all my students is above all to study the music profoundly….
Music is like the ocean, and the instruments are little or bigger islands, very beautiful for the flowers and trees.
The guitar is a small orchestra. It is polyphonic. Every string is a different color, a different voice The guitar is a miniature orchestra in itself.
― Ludwig van Beethoven