August 18: los nombres de todos sus ahogados

I wasn’t sure what to write about for my last blog post. My project is approaching a final draft, and I have nothing new to say about international alliances or weapons deals or neutrality agreements. It seems fitting, though, to recognize the 81st anniversary of the death of Federico García Lorca. Lorca was an acclaimed Spanish poet, author, and musician who supported the Frente Popular. Soon after the war broke out, Lorca was arrested by right-wing forces from his home in Granada. They took him to the nearby countryside and shot him before dawn on August 18th. His remains were never found.

In my IR-focused Monroe project, there is simply not enough room to talk about one political assassination. Lorca has captured my imagination since high school, though. I think it is worth remembering today that hatred, violence, and terror will never again have a home in Spain. I have translated below a segment of Lorca’s “Fábula y rueda de los tres amigos,” a poem from his book “Poeta en Nueva York” written 1929-1930.

“When the pure forms sunk themselves

beneath the cricket chirps of the daisies,

I understood that they had murdered me.

They traversed the cafes and the cemeteries and the churches,

they opened the barrels and the closets,

they destroyed three skeletons to tear out their gold teeth.

They still did not find me.

They did not find me?

No. They did not find me.

But it was known that the sixth moon fled upstream,

and that the sea remembered suddenly!

the names of all her drowned.”




  1. It was beautiful to see a Lorca poem hidden among all these blogs. I still remember when I heard Lorca’s eulogy for his fallen matador lover.
    I was wondering, in your comparison between Syria and Spain, did you follow the stories of the volunteers for Franco? I examined the topic for my Freshman Monroe. These foreign volunteers were strange folks to me, animated by some mix of Catholicism and Fascism. How do those fighters tie into the folks flocking to ISIS. A lot of the fighters for Franco faced failure in their efforts because 1) they were truly incompetent or 2) Franco did not make use of them or some combination. How does ISIS end up making use of their foreign recruits without making the mistakes Franco did?