Week 1: Imagination & Discovery

The Want of the Poet

Lorca On Imagination and Discovery Matthew Zapruder on Lorca 

For our first week we’ll be looking at a transcript of a From a lecture entitled ‘Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion,” by Federico García Lorca, reconstructed and translated by Christopher Maurer from newspaper accounts published between 1928 and 1930. 

We’ve also attached an excerpt from Matthew Zapruder’s Memoir, Story of a Poem, where he talks a bit about this lecture.

“The poet strolls through his imagination, limited by it,” Lorca says. “He wants to hear the dialogue of the insects beneath the boughs. He wants to penetrate the current of the sap in the dark silence of great tree trunks.”

The poet longs to listen and look and translate the inner and outer world. The poet wants. Yet, as Lorca notes, “But this is his sin: to want. One shouldn’t want, one should love. And so he fails.” And why does this want get in the way of our imagination’s capabilities, of our own becoming? How can we negotiate want?  Together we will begin our four week journey together, reading and thinking about the subtle nuances of imagination and poetry–from a wide range of sources. Some moments in some texts may seem challenging. Others deceptively simple. We will meet these texts with open minds, and curiosity and we will do some together. Honing in on one movement of a text that really speaks to you, is just as important as understanding everything. Together we will see where the conversation takes us.