Poetry

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THE RURAL MAID
Fernando M. Maramag
Maramag was a poet, newspaperman, and editor of the Manila Tribune. He was born in Ilagan, Isabela, on January 21,1893. He was educated at Isabela High School, Philippine Normal School, and the University of the Philippines. Many of his poems were published in various newspaper. Some of his more famous poems were : “A Christ without the Cross,” “The Atheist,” “Jose Rizal,” “Christmas,” and “Moonlight on Manila Bay.” One of his earlier poems was “The Rural Maid.” Maramag was editor of the Tribune when he died on October 23, 1936. A veteran newspaperman, he was considered one of the most brillant writers in English during his day.

Thy glance, sweet maid, when first we met,
Has left a heart that aches for thee,
I feel the pain of fond regret ---
Thy heart, perchance, is not for me.

We parted : though we met no more,
My dreams are dreams of thee, fair maid;
I think of thee, my thoughts implore
The hours my lips on thine arelaid.

Forgive these words that love impart,
And pleading, bare the poet’s breast;
And if a rose with thorns thou art,
Yet on my breast that rose may rest.

I know not what to name thy charms,
Thou art half human, half divine;
But if I could hold thee in my arms,
I know both heaven and earth were mine.

Questions:
1. What mood is created in the first stanza?
2. Why is the word dreams repeated?
3. Explain the rose symbol in the poem.
4. How is the emotion of love described?
5. Evaluate the poem.

THE SPOUSE
Luis G. Dato
Mr. Dato was born in Camarines Sur in 1906. As a student he became interested in poetry. His first book, Filipino Poetry was published in 1924 and is considered the first anthology of Filipino poems in English. He published his own poems in Manila : A Collection of Verses (1926). He preferred the classical tradition and his favorite form was the sonnet. The smooth rhythm of his verse is similar to Longfellow’s poetry. In 1936 Mr. Dato published My Book of Verses. Jose Garcia Villa has included two of his poems, “Day on the Farm” and “The Spouse,” in A Doveglion Book of Philippine Poetry (1962).

Rose in her hand, and moist eyes young with weeping,
She stands upon the threshold of her house,
Fragrant with scent that wakens love from sleeping,
She looks far down to where her husband plows.

Her hair disheveled in the night of passion,
Her warm limbs humid with the sacred strife,
What may she know but man and woman fashion,
Out of the clay of wrath and sorrow, Life?

She holds no joys beyond the day’s tomorrow,
She finds no worlds beyond his arm’s embrace,
She looks upon the Form behind the furrow,
Who is her Mind, her Motion, Time and Space.

Oh, somber mystery of eyes unspeaking,
And dark enigma of Life’s loves forlorn,
The sphinx beside the river smiles with seeking,
The secret answer since the world was born.

Questions:
1. Describe the setting and the mood of the poem.
2. What words in the second stanza reflect the author’s view of life? 3. Explain the line, “Who is her Mind, her Motion, Time and Space”. 4. Who is the sphinx beside the river?
5. What is the author’s purpose in the poem?

RAIN
M. de Gracia Concepcion
Marcelo de Gracia Conception was born in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. He served with the United States Navy during the first World War. After the war, he spent a summer in the Alaskan fisheries. Then he attended the University of California, studying first to be a lawyer and then to be a writer. While studying, he supported himself by being a dishwasher, postal clerk, and newspaper reporter. In 1925, Azucena, the book of poems which won him fame, was published. These mystical poems reveal the spiritual emotions of the poet as he looks upon the universe. In 1932 he published another collection of poems in Bamboo Flute. At the time of his death, he was doing a minor role in a Hollywood movie.

After the rain,
darkness lifts to luminous acres
of space...
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