Ballad of the Water of the Sea

The sea
Smiles in the distance.
Teeth of foam,
Lips of sky.

What do you sell, O troubled youth,
With your breasts to the wind?

I sell, sir, the water
Of the seas.

What do you carry, O black youth,
Mixed with your blood?

I carry, sir, the water
Of the seas.—

These salty tears,
Oh, Mother, from where do they come?

I weep, sir, the water
Of the seas.—

Heart, and this bitterness
That exists, where was it born?

Very bitter is the water
Of the seas!

The sea
Smiles in the distance.
Foam for its teeth,
The sky for its lips.

a photo of Federico Garcia Lorca

About the Author

Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) is considered the most important Spanish poet and dramatist of the twentieth century. He published his first book, Impresiones y Viajes, at age 21, which led to 14 more poetry collections in his lifetime. He lived in New York in 1929, and then returned to Spain the following year. He was executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.