Romance de La Pena Negra Essay

2614 Words Jan 8th, 2013 11 Pages
A commentary of Romance de la pena negra, Federico García Lorca

Lorca described ‘Romance de la pena negra’ as one of the most representative poems from the ‘Romancero gitano’. The poem was written in 1924, when Lorca had been sent away from Granada, due to his homosexuality and was living in Madrid, the centre of the cultural ferment of the 1920’s. Here, he attended the ‘Institución Libre de Enseñanza’ (ILE), where he was inspired to search for the national Spanish spirit, through literature.

‘Romance de la pena negra,’ follows the typical writing structure of the ‘romance’ style. This includes otto-syllabic rhyme, direct speech from unidentified people, consonants, vocalic echo and rhyme in even lines in assonance, (in this
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This alludes to the idea of maternity.

The next image as a whole implies the bouncing circular movement of Soledad’s breasts, as she comes down the mountain. Lorca uses synesthesia, employing the word “redondas”(8) to describe “canciones”(8) rather than Soledad’s breasts. The word “giran” also relates back to Soledad’s pain, as if her breasts are crying out as they move around.

The tone then changes in the next stanza. An unknown voice (typical of the ‘romance’) speaks to Soledad and says:
“Soledad, Por quien preguntas sin compaña y a estas horas?”(9/10)
This voice is a voice of compassion. However what is said reveals a lot about the speaker. The fact that the speaker refers to her as “Soledad” implies that there is a sort of familiarity between them, as does the word “preguntas” instead of the polite version, “pregunta”. The speaker also chooses the word “compaña” rather than “compañía” a gypsy like manor, implying that this character is from the same background as Soledad “Montoya” – a typical gypsy name.

Soledad’s response is very aggressive and is loaded with a sense of pride, as she is trying to hide her shame at having waited for so long throughout the night. She says “pregunte por quien pregunte,
“Dime, ¿a ti que se te importa?”(11/12)
She also uses “tu” to address the speaker, reinforcing the idea that they are linked somehow. The next words that Soledad speaks are arguably
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