Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Para sa mga burak sa Heidelberg: An pagrumdom ki Rizal kan sarong taga-Baao

December 30, 2008

A Diciembre 30, amo a ka-aldowan ka pagka-badil ki Jose P. Rizal, kanatong heroe nacional na guinadan ka mga Kastila, 112 taon ng naka-agui. Sa pagrumdom ka guinibo ni Rizal para sa liberasyon ka Pilipinas, rumdumon ta an saiyang pamosong tula—Para sa mga burak ka Heidelberg—sinurat niya kan siya nasa Alemanya, Europa.

Galin sa Paris, Francia si Dr. Rizal— nag-anad mag-bulong ka mga helang sa mata. Siya tinukduan ni Prof. Otto Becker sa Alemanya. Amo’dto kan siya nagsurat para sa kagayonan ka mga burak sa Heidleberg—habang namatean niya a kalipungawan kan pamilyang harayo, banwaan na saiyang ‘di maling’wan. Dae nag-haloy, pakatapos ka nobela niyang Noli Me Tangere, si Rizal nagpuli sa Manila.

Sadi a magayon na paguiromdom ni P.B. Robosa (taga-Baao) ki Rizal. Sa color ka tataramon ka lugar sa Rinconada, Bicol, a amio ka burak ni Rizal magdanay man lugod kanato. Magka-igua man lugod kita ka pag-makulog sagkod pagkamoot na hanggang ngowan kaipuhan ka banwaan.

Para sa Mga Burak sa Heidelberg(To the Flowers of Heidelberg)
Ni Jose Rizal
Itinaga Baao ni P.B. Robosa

Pasadto kamo banwaan ko, dayuhan na burak
tagak sa raran kin mga nagbabaklay, iwinarak,
sa lomlom ka sirong kin azul na kalangitan,
sadto na an mga payaba ko pinag-iiningatan
iluyap ninyo, pagarang-arang kanakong rogan,
kining arayo pero di nalilingaw sa mga binayaan

Pasadto kamo, ag mabareta bago magliwanag,
kung kamo ka sirang ka aldow ibinubuklad,
sa pangpang ag agnow ka Neckar na ararom
sadto siya nakatindog, nang-guiguiromrom
pamumula sa tagsibol, darang kolor na magayon

Ipa-ngusip ninyo kun pag-abot ka saking ramrag,
ayaton kaninyo an hamot na kaninyong ambag,
habang luway na pina-iirongog “o ika, payaba ko”
siya man nagririmo-rimo, sa itaas ninyo tinotono,
kantang pagkaboot, sa sadiring bisara nya guinibo

Kun su silaw ka ramrag aboton na su kaitaasan,
tuktok Koenigsthul kalayuwan kin kaliwanagan,
namumulaag na silaw ka aldow mang-guisong na,
sa patag, kadlagan ag kakahoyan nanbubuway na,
ining lagalag, sabat man tulos an silaw na dara,
na sadto banwaan man nya, minabulos biyaya.

Isabi ninyo ku kamo luway na pinili ag pinutlan,
ku sya nag-agi-agi sa sadit ag matulid na a-agian,
sa rugbang torreng tuda ko panahon na nakaagi,
sa Neckar na may kadlagan, malimpoy na sabi.
Sabiyon su kanyang mga panambitan ag sinabi
pauno kamo luway-luway, tinulid, ingat na inani,
sadto kanyang libro isinuksuk ag pinagkahigo,
sa mga lumang pahina, kamo niyang itinatago.

Hatudan, hatudan, magayon na burak kin Rhine,
an biyong pagka-boot ko sa ngamin na nabootan,
katoninongan sa banwaan kong kinamondagan,
sa kababaihan-katangihan, kusog sa kalalakihan.
Ipagtaratara diaday, sa mga payaba kong marhay
sa ngamin, kabilugang banal, pauulian ka buway

Pag-abot sa baybayon kan pinayabang banwaan
matam-is na arok na pinamate di paglingawan,
ipatiprak sa pakpak kin angin na nakapalibot
tanganing su ngamin na inonra, ginalang, binoot,
mamate sa mga pisngi ninda–arok kong pina-abot.

Tibaad makaabot kamo sa banwaan kong tinubuan
dara pa gayon ag tinkad ninyong kolor na namasdan,
ta arayo kamo sa ragang kinabuklatan, nang-alisngaw,
namarong na amot, tibaad dagos nang naoda, nanlasaw.
An hamio ninyo, kalag ninyong tunay, di maisusuway,
di malilingangawan kan langit kun sari kamo nabuway.
baaohistoricalsociety.blogspot.com

December 30, 2008 marks the day our national hero Jose P. Rizal was executed by the Spanish colonizers some 112 years ago. In remembrance of his martyrdom for the liberation of our country, let’s remember one of his famous poems—To the Flowers of Heidleberg which he wrote when he was in Germany.

Under the tutorship of Prof. Otto Becker, Rizal continued his advanced studies as an eye doctor there. It was about that time when he wrote the beautiful poem about the flowers of Heidelberg and his nostalgia for his family and his native land. It did not take long, after he finished the final chapters of his novel Noli Me Tangere, that he went home and met his death.

From Baao, Camarines Sur, here’s P. B. Robosa’s beautiful translation of the poem. The words carry inexplicable emotions and images that only a wonderful Bicol dialect can express. May the scent of Rizal’s flowers suffuse us— his bravery and patriotism inspire us, as we celebrate his martyrdom.


To the Flowers of Heidelberg

by Jose P. Rizal

Go to my country, go foreign flowers!
Planted by the traveller on his way,
And there beneath that sky of blue
That over my beloved towers,
Speak for this traveller to say
What faith in his homeland he breathes to you.

Go and say… say that when the dawn
First drew your calyx open there
Beside the River Neckar chill,
you saw him standing by you, very still,
Reflecting on the primrose flush you wear.

Say that when the morning light
Her toll of perfume from you wrung,
While playfully she whispered, “How I love you!”
He too murmured here above you
Tender love songs in his native tongue.

That when the rising sun the height
Of Koenigstuhl in the early morn first spies;
Is pouring life in the valley, wood, and grove,
He greets the sun as it begins to rise,
Which in his native land is blazing straight above.

And tell them of that day he staid
And plucked you from the border of the path,
Amid the ruins of the feudal castle,
By the River Neckar, and in the silvan shade.
Tell them what he told you
As tenderly as he took
Your plants leaves and pressed them in a book,
Where now its well worn pages close enfold you.

Carry, carry, flowers of Rhine,
Love to every love of mine,
Peace to my country and her fertile land,
Virtue to her women, courage to her men,
Salute those darling once again,
Who formed the sacred circle of our home.

And when you reach the shore,
Each kiss I press upon you now,
Deposit on the pinions of the wind,
And those I love and honor above and adore
Will feel my kisses carried their brow.

Ah, flowers, you may fare through,
Conserving still, perhaps, your native hue;
Yet, far from fatherland, heroic loam
To which you owe your life,
The perfume will be gone from you;
For aroma is your soul; it cannot roam
Beyond the skies which saw it born, nor e’er forget.
“I embrace you”
Rizal’s letter to Friedrich Ullmer (the son of Pastor Ullmer, Wilhelmsfeld) from 1887 (Photo Credits: Bill Barber; Sinaglaya; Bill Barber; Donnamarijne; Bill Barber; Bill Barber)

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The roar of thunder & the white lilies of the valley

December 19, 2008

Incongruence, alienation, and a feeling of déjà vu are some of the most inexplicable rousers of the human senses. They come and go in our guts like distant pulsations of life in a plane at different seasons.

Let’s take time, pause, and write— so strangeness, we can mend from within. We wish to rid ourselves of the angst of some smokey blur. Like the fearsome thunder behind the clouds, disturbing the fields of white lilies in the valley…the woods and trees have their barks marked by box-cutters and stabbed with imprints of our names.

Yes! How wonderful to read Bambi Ricafrente’s engaging poetry: Thunder Lilies, from Monologues and other Poems, 1982. (Photo Credits: Gorpie; Wazka)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “thunder lilies” Posted by bambi ricafrente at 12/19/2008

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My caged munias & the birds in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s mind

November 20, 2008

The captive munias (rignos, mayas; chestnut mannikins,) didn’t escape my mind when I read the old elegant lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s paean for the birds, part of what he wrote in May-Day and Other Pieces. The 19th century American essayist-poet’s beautifully crafted words made my heart thumping as thoughts of childhood crossed my mind. All the birds which I wanted as pets died. I was regretful. From the ugly experience, I wondered if I truly learned wholesome values mentioned by the great inspiring American writer-philosopher in the following lines:


O birds, your perfect virtues bring,
Your song, your forms, your rhythmic flight,
Your manners for your heart’s delight,
Nestle in hedge, or barn, or roof,
Here weave your chamber weather-proof,
Forgive our harms, and condescend
To man, as to a lubber friend,
And, generous, teach his awkward race
Courage, and probity, and grace!”

—from May Day and Other Pieces by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I felt remorse over keeping those mayas in a small bamboo cage. For measly 5 centavos each, I bought the tiny birds at the gate of the grade school where I studied. At home, I was excited to play with the popular avian species which frequent the grasses and rice paddies of Bicol. With fast wings ready to fly, their feet were restrained by strings tied on my hand.

The mayas were good to see inside the bamboo cage on the window sill. Each time I went near, feathers hummed like the sound of an electric razor. Brighter and more vibrant than Joseph’s dream coat, their fluffy feathers and tiny feet were wonderful.

I sensed their fear and boredom even if I fed them with rice grains from the fields. It was stupid of me to egg them to bathe in a water basin the way ducks do in the marsh. Recalling how they groomed when rain left pools of water on the pavement outside, I watched them flap their fiery brown wings. I craved that they lay eggs in a nest I made from dried zakate leaves.

Their silvery beaks were no match to the rigid bamboo enclosure which they tried to break. Their brown puzzling eyes sought every little chance to escape and be free.

If they could speak, they might have insisted flying up the lemon tree or have them build nests in a bush as thorny as the bougainvilleas. I heard them burst in a beautiful song with the soul of a passing breeze. In spite of my watch, all of them didn’t last. One after another, they died.

Although I was pure and diligent in my care for the munias, I knew they succumbed to stress. The alert birds badly needed liberty and they might have been distressed like the idle prisoners in jail. So self-absorbed of having them, I couldn’t resist keeping them in the cage. At that age, I had little idea what cruelty meant.

Nobody convinced me that my effort to make the birds happy made them even more sad. Had I known, I would have treated them humanely by just setting them free. As Ralph Waldo Emerson whose respect for nature and God were strong when he wrote years ago, I couldn’t resist saying, “forgive our harms, and condescend.” (Photo Credits: Edmondcv210;____; neon2rosell; CharlesLam; floridapfd; GurpalKaher; Nils) =0

My caged munias & the birds in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s mind

November 20, 2008

The captive munias (rignos, mayas; chestnut mannikins,) didn’t escape my mind when I read the old elegant lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s paean for the birds, part of what he wrote in May-Day and Other Pieces. The 19th century American essayist-poet’s beautifully crafted words made my heart thumping as thoughts of childhood crossed my mind. All the birds which I wanted as pets died. I was regretful. From the ugly experience, I wondered if I truly learned wholesome values mentioned by the great inspiring American writer-philosopher in the following lines:


O birds, your perfect virtues bring,
Your song, your forms, your rhythmic flight,
Your manners for your heart’s delight,
Nestle in hedge, or barn, or roof,
Here weave your chamber weather-proof,
Forgive our harms, and condescend
To man, as to a lubber friend,
And, generous, teach his awkward race
Courage, and probity, and grace!”

—from May Day and Other Pieces by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I felt remorse over keeping those mayas in a small bamboo cage. For measly 5 centavos each, I bought the tiny birds at the gate of the grade school where I studied. At home, I was excited to play with the popular avian species which frequent the grasses and rice paddies of Bicol. With fast wings ready to fly, their feet were restrained by strings tied on my hand.

The mayas were good to see inside the bamboo cage on the window sill. Each time I went near, feathers hummed like the sound of an electric razor. Brighter and more vibrant than Joseph’s dream coat, their fluffy feathers and tiny feet were wonderful.

I sensed their fear and boredom even if I fed them with rice grains from the fields. It was stupid of me to egg them to bathe in a water basin the way ducks do in the marsh. Recalling how they groomed when rain left pools of water on the pavement outside, I watched them flap their fiery brown wings. I craved that they lay eggs in a nest I made from dried zakate leaves.

Their silvery beaks were no match to the rigid bamboo enclosure which they tried to break. Their brown puzzling eyes sought every little chance to escape and be free.

If they could speak, they might have insisted flying up the lemon tree or have them build nests in a bush as thorny as the bougainvilleas. I heard them burst in a beautiful song with the soul of a passing breeze. In spite of my watch, all of them didn’t last. One after another, they died.

Although I was pure and diligent in my care for the munias, I knew they succumbed to stress. The alert birds badly needed liberty and they might have been distressed like the idle prisoners in jail. So self-absorbed of having them, I couldn’t resist keeping them in the cage. At that age, I had little idea what cruelty meant.

Nobody convinced me that my effort to make the birds happy made them even more sad. Had I known, I would have treated them humanely by just setting them free. As Ralph Waldo Emerson whose respect for nature and God were strong when he wrote years ago, I couldn’t resist saying, “forgive our harms, and condescend.” (Photo Credits: Edmondcv210;____; neon2rosell; CharlesLam; floridapfd; GurpalKaher; Nils) =0

A. J. Kilmer’s "A poem as lovely as a tree"

October 20, 2008

TREES

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Alfred Joyce Kilmer
A Catholic American poet, writer and lecturer born in New Brunswick, N.J. and educated at Rutgers College and Columbia (B.A., 1908,) Alfred Joyce Kilmer lived from December 6, 1886 to July 30, 1918. His most famous poem “Trees,” was published in Trees and Other Poems (1914.) He served in the military and was deployed in Europe during the World War I.

When the United States involved itself in war, in 1917, Alfred Joyce Kilmer, in an expression of patriotic duty, joined the Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard. While on a military mission in France, he was killed by a fatal sniper’s bullet at a young age of 31, leaving behind his wife Aline Murray and five children. Posthumously, he was awarded the Coix de Guerre (Cross of War) by the French Republic for his valor.

In North Carolina, a place Kilmer never visited, he was honored with the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a protective reserve of ancient trees, one of the few of its kind in North America. Upon his death, he was interred in the Oise-Aisne Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France. Source: Alfred Joyce Kilmer and His Memorial Forest by Steve Nix (About.com)


There is a bit of nostalgia reading A. J. Kilmer’s poem “Trees.” At this time of the year when autumn progresses in full season, this piece of vintage literature brings a special resonance. The poem with its conservative tone and rhyme seems sentimental and ancient to the reading taste of the present generation, but look at the changing trees mimicking the flowers in the photo. They are the same radiant trees reaching for the sky that a nature-beholder from Brunswick, New Jersey paid tribute to about a century ago. Like a God-believing outdoorsman of this day, he is more relevant now with the environmental movement and the effort to save the plants and trees of the planet. (Photo Credits: dabadoo; USFS; tobi et. al) =0=

Poetry: Icarus – Of Gravity and Light

October 1, 2008

Icarus – Of Gravity and Light -Poem
by John Burnside

The things that fall
are what we treasure most:

attendants
in the house of gravity,

we sense the imminent
in every book

left open on a table
or a chair;

in every sugar bowl
or deck of cards

we understand
another life resides,

older than time
and dizzy with momentum

yet, since the soul
is weightless, being neither

flesh and bone, nor shadow,
nor that sound

of falling in the distance
we mistake

for death,
or flight,

nothing is ever solid
in itself,

and substance
is another form of sleep

as feathers are,
no matter that the light

is still around a body
while it falls,

keeping it true, unhindered,
counterpoised,

something immense
to set against the pulse.

John Burnside of Fife, Scotland teaches creative writing at the University of St. Andrews. Among his books of poetry are: A Normal Skin, The Myth of the Twin, The Hoop, Common Knowledge, Feast Days, and Swimming in the Flood. Novels to his credit are: The Dumb House, The Mercy Boys, and most recently, The Locust Room (2001). His most recent collection of poems, The Asylum Dance (2000), won the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. Copyright 2002 Fairleigh Dickinson University; Copyright 2002 Gale Group) Photo Credit: Lament for Icarus by Herbert Draper; Kent Law)=0=

September 16, 2008

KUNG AKO’Y MAGING DESAPARECIDO, INAY
ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

Kung ako’y maging isang desaparecido
Pilitin po ninyong hanapin ako, inay
Kung sakali mang tuluyang nawala ako
Ay makita man lang ang malamig kong bangkay.
Nawala man ako’y para sa pagbabago
Tangan ang prinsipyo’t pangarap ko sa buhay
Isang marangal na libing po ang nais ko
At isang tula ko sa lapida’y ilagay.

Nagmamalaki akong ako’y aktibista
Na prinsipyado itong sinuong na landas
Na ang tumatahak nama’y pawang bihira
At karaniwan, ang tulad ko’y dinarahas.
Aktibista’y may pag-ibig sa kanyang kapwa
Kaya’t nilalabanan ang sinumang hudas
Na sa bayan natin ay nagsasamantala.
Panlipunang pagbabago ang tanging lunas.

Akong inyong anak ay alam nyong lalaban
Sa anumang sistemang mapagsamantala
Mahal kong inay, nais kong inyong malaman
Isa ka po sa pinakadakilang ina
Sa mundong itong kaytindi ng karahasan
Dakila ka dahil tulad ni Birheng Marya
Ay inalay mo sa pagbago ng lipunan
Ang anak mo para sa paglaya ng iba.

N.B. Ang tula ay pinadala sa akin ng makatang si Greg V. Bituin, Jr. Isang pangamba sa mga nawawala sa ating lipunan at pag-alaala sa mga pinaslang na walang katarungan—AFM (September 16, 2008)

Poetry on Duty

September 10, 2008

80th Hour

by Wynne Morrison, M.D.

All night I pace a course around your bed,
pausing to feel your pulse too many times.
I try to reassure your anxious eyes,
skeptical of the monitor’s dancing lines.
Morning comes but I can barely leave,
convinced by this point I’ve kept you alive,
not noticing my hand falls from the page,
words flattening like the foothills to the plains.
Home seems a dream, but dreams bring mayhem too,
filled with the bells and sirens of my day.
At least it’s empty on the eastbound street;
I roll down windows, sing out loud to fend off sleep.
Lids close as all goes silent on your screen,
I start awake to see my light is green.

N.B. Winner of “Five Years of Duty Hours” poetry contest which gives a poignant glimpse of a doctor’s life with a patient. American Medical Association (gme@ama-assn.org September 10, 2008) Photo Credit: Highschoolphotojournalist =0=