TULA: Isang Dipang Langit
The title of this poem by Amado V. Hernandez can be translated into English as A Piece of Heaven. Signed in Muntinlupa Prison on April 22, 1952.
base sa aming libro, ang isang dipang langit ay mas tumatalakay sa bibyolohikal na anyo. dahil dito, ito ay nagbibigay pansin sa totoong nangyari sa buhay ng may akda. An Arm's Length Piece of the Sky
I am held by an evil leader
seeking to cage my thoughts,
a body weak, he says, is surrender,
emotions suppressed, advocacy hindered.
I am kept in a cruel place:
rock, steel, bullets, ferocious guards;
isolated from the world
alive, treated as dead.
From the little window, my sole consolation
is an arm's length piece of the sky, full of tears,
a paltry handkerchip to dress a wounded heart,
flag of my misfortune.
Sharp as lightning are the guards' eyes,
at the gates, with keys, no one can go near;
the scream from a nearby cell
resembles a cave animal's howl.
Days pass like a chain
dragged along by bloody feet,
the nights are a blanket of sorrow
in the coffin-like realm of the jail.
Sometimes, quiet footsteps pass,
with a line ofrattling, clinking chains;
to the pale sun momentarily exposed,
a thousand shadows escape.
Sometimes, the night is awakened
by an alarm - an escapee! - gunfire!
sometimes the old bell cries,
at the execution den, someone lies dying.
And this is my only world now-
the prison house, a graveyard of the living;
ten, twenty, and all of my years
my whole life will be here.
But a resolute mind knows not fear nor agony
and hope still springs in my heart:
imprisonment is part of the struggle,
jail, the fate of the embattled.
Man and God do not sleep
the unfortunate won't stay oppressed,
tyranny has a price to pay,
while a Bastille exists, people will resist.
And tomorrow, in this very place, I will see
an arm's length piece of the sky with no more tears,
the golden sun of victory will shine...
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