The premiere of two plays by Federico García Lorca in Barcelona shows the strong relationship that the poet and playwright maintained with the city, also thanks to some of his most important artistic acquaintances, such as Margarita Xirgu. At Madrid’s Residencia de Estudiantes, García Lorca had already come into contact with Catalan culture through his friend Salvador Dalí and, after his first visit to Catalonia in 1925, he cultivated a solid link with our country throughout his life.
The Granada-born writer Antonina Rodrigo is known for her biographical studies of Salvador Dalí, Margarita Xirgu, Josep Trueta and Federico García Lorca. In 2006 she was presented with
the Creu de Sant Jordi in recognition of her career.
Last Sunday at the end of Doña Rosita the Spinster at the Principal Palace, the play dedicated to florists in La Rambla, García Lorca read the following lines in their honour:
Ladies and gentlemen: Tonight, my youngest and dearest child, Rosita the Spinster, Miss Rosita, Doña Rosita, on the marble and among the cypresses Doña Rosa, wanted to work for the lovely florists on La Rambla, and I have the honour of dedicating the performance to those women with honest smiles and wet hands, on which from time to time the tiny ruby made by the thorn quivers.
The mutable rose, enclosed in the melancholia of the gardened villa in Granada, wanted to shake on its branch next to the pond so that the flowers of the happiest street in the world could see it. The street where the four seasons of the year live together, the only street on earth I would like to never end, rich in sounds, abundant in breezes, beautiful in meetings, old in blood: La Rambla of Barcelona.
Like a scale, La Rambla has its pointer and its balance in the flower market, where the city comes to celebrate christenings and weddings over fresh bunches of hope and where they come shedding tears and shaking ribbons on the wreaths for their dead. These stalls of joy among the city trees are like the gift to the Ramblers and their leisure and, although at night they seem alone, almost like iron catafalques, they have a seigniorial and delicate air, which seems to say to the night owl: “Wake up tomorrow and come to see us; we belong to the day.” [...]
Dear florists, with the affection with which I greet you under the trees as an unknown passer-by, I greet you here tonight, as a poet, and offer you, with a sincere Andalusian gesture, this rose of pain and words: it is the Granada-born Rosita the Spinster.
(La Publicitat, 25th December 1935, and L’Instant, 24th December 1935)