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Federico Garcia Lorca

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Born on June 5, 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros near the city of Granada, Federico Garcia-Lorca was a creative child who delighted in his childhood. Nature and its mysteries held a constant fascination for Federico. He believed all living things possessed a spirit, and would talk to a tree as easily as to his sister. Lorca's mother taught him to play the piano, an activity he continued throughout his brief life. When he began writing poetry as a teenager (1918), the language was inherently musical; it clear that music affected his writing at a deep level. This is known from his own admissions in his famous lecture-recital “How a City Sings from November to November.” Throughout his life as a poet, he titled many poems and collections of poems as canciones, or songs.

As a young man he studied philosophy and law at the University of Madrid where he organized theatrical and musical performances and continued to read his poems in public. It was during this time Lorca traveled around Spain, “collecting” folk songs from different regions and arranging them for piano and voice.

Becoming too-well known as the “gypsy poet,” after the success of his Gypsy Ballads, (1921) Lorca moved to New York in 1929 to study English at Columbia University. The trip also inspired a book of poetry, Poet in New York, which was published posthumously.

Unfortunately, Lorca was to be an early casualty of the Spanish Civil War. Intellectuals were considered dangerous by Franco's Nationalists, and although Lorca was apolitical, he was dragged into a field, shot, and thrown into an unmarked grave in the morning of August 19, 1936 .

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