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El ritmo como subtexto analizable en la poesia y teatro de Federico Garcia Lorca

Irene Beibe, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


I explore the relationship between the presence or absence of rhythm and repetition in plays and poems by Federico García Lorca, and its correspondence with feelings of well-being or malaise. This relationship between rhythm, repetition and the reader's response to them works on different levels. First, it exists as an innate association by the author, who uses certain rhythms to express “positive” feelings, such as love, affection or respect in some texts and omits regular rhythmic patterns when transmitting discontent or despair, as in Poeta en Nueva York. Secondly, the reader is affected by such rhythms at a sub-conscious level, and responds to them emotionally. Lastly, the presence or absence of rhythm explains a reader's preference for some of Lorca's poetry and plays. ^ To demonstrate this link I devised a technique that simplifies the analysis of poetic feel by translating the stressed and unstressed syllables into rhythmic cells, following the example of musical analysis. I study how hearing a repeated rhythm or sound may affect a human being by evocating feelings of well-being or malaise and I propose a system for studying repetitions of rhythmic cells, rhyme, images, or words and sounds such as anaphors and alliteration. ^ This technique is applied to various poems and plays, and shows a clear relationship between the semantic level and the rhythmic/repetition patterns employed in the text. For example in Lorca's plays Doña Rosita la soltera, Bodas de sangre and Mariana Pineda I demonstrate how rhythm and other repetitions are used by certain characters when a positive feeling is to be transmitted. ^ In the poetry book Poeta en Nueva York the malaise expressed on a semantic level corresponds with the disappearance of pleasurable rhythmic resources previously used by Lorca in other poems. Even today Lorca's other books of poetry, such as Romancero Gitano, are widely read while Poeta en Nueva York enjoys far less popularity because readers do not find it pleasurable. On the other hand, English speakers who cannot appreciate the original rhythm and other repetitions in translated poems may favor Poeta en Nueva York based on its complexity. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Romance|Theater

Recommended Citation

Beibe, Irene, "El ritmo como subtexto analizable en la poesia y teatro de Federico Garcia Lorca" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3186847.