Debussy, by Federico Garcia Lorca
Lorca’s poem is the story of a shadow. We tend to think of a shadow as an absence. A shadow is dark, but not darkness, and in the pale light shapes present themselves with greater nuance. We see reflections of quiet things. Similarly, as shadow is shade, protection from light and heat. But in this poem, the narrator’s shadow seems to be cast at night—the frogs are deprived of stars. A shadow in darkness. What is the source of the light? How is it that a shadow can generate such apparent warmth?
As we reflect on what we have lost, and of what inadvertently we have deprived others, what still has been gained? What do we see in our shadow, in the absence of the fullness of light? What is the glow mirrored back to us in the reflection made possible by the shadow? Are there ways of seeing the shadow not as deprivation, but of fullness?
Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado