Yoke and Arrows
Published by Smokestack Books
In the first weeks of the Spanish Civil War, the radical poet and playwright Federico García Lorca was murdered in Granada by anti-Republican militia. During the early months of the war over twenty thousand Granadinos were killed by these execution squads. Particularly vicious were the Black Squads, many of whom were members of the Fascist Falange. Their symbol was the yoke and arrows (el yugo y las flechas), the emblem of the fifteenth-century Catholic monarchs Isabel and Fernando, who expelled the Moors and the Jews from Spain.
Yoke and Arrows tells the story of those few desperate weeks in 1936, following Lorca’s journey from Madrid and a life of celebration and creativity to his pre-dawn death in the mountains above Granada. It also contemplates the parallels between atrocities and acts of retribution across cultures and histories and asserts the responsibility of poetry to bear witness to violation and cruelty in our own violent age.
Rob Hindle was born in Rotherham and educated in Leeds and Newcastle. In the early 1990s he lived and worked in Madrid. He now lives in Sheffield, where he works for the WEA. His poetry collections include Some Histories of the Sheffield Flood 1864, Neurosurgery in Iraq and The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman.