I was fifteen when I began to read Federico Garcia Lorca. His poems perhaps have had the greatest influence on my texts. He summoned up a world where I felt at home. His images were sensual and mysterious: ‘throw a fist full of ants to the sun.’ I wanted to be able to write something like that as well. A few years ago I wrote a musical adaptation of Lorca’s ‘Little Viennese Waltz.’ Then I noticed what a complex writer he was: it took me more than a hundred hours just to translate the poem. Lorca is one of those rare poets with whom you can stay in love for life.
From ‘Gesprek met Leonard Cohen, de boeteprediker van de popmuziek; Het Oude Testament is mijn handboek’ [Talk with Leonard Cohen, the philosopher of pop music; the Old Testament is my guide] by Pieter Steinz, NRC: December 4, 1992.
Cohencentric published several posts about Leonard Cohen’s Take This Waltz being based on his translation of Pequeño Vals Vienès by Federico García Lorca:
- “When I started the thing, I didn’t realize I had taken my first step on a walk to China.” Leonard Cohen On His Traumatic Translation Of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Poem For Take This Waltz
- Video: The Original 1986 “Take This Waltz” By Leonard Cohen
- Compare Leonard Cohen’s “Take This Waltz” To A Conventional English Translation Of Federico García Lorca’s “Pequeno Vals Vienés”
- “I wrote this next song under the inspiration, under the fatherly guidance of Federico Garcia Lorca, the great Spanish poet. He never came to Helsinki. Doesn’t matter, ’cause I’m here now.” Leonard Cohen Tells 1988 Helsinki Concert Audience 5 Things He Knows About Finland
Credit Due Department: Contributed & translated by Anja Deelen
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted July 22, 2016.