Angela Caridad Legaspi Manalang-Gloria was born in Guagua, Pampanga on August 7, 1907. During her education in University of the Philippines, her life-long rivalry with the poet Jose Garcia Villa was developed. She also became the literary editor in Philippine Collegian, with Celedonio P. Gloria as the editor-in-chief. Their friendship led to marriage and they had 3 children. On March 11, 1945 Japanese patrol attacked her husband and her son Ruben in Alitagtag, Batangas. Though Celedonio died, Ruben was able to survive but he had a trauma. This left Angela a widow with 3 children to take care of. It also forced her to leave writing and change her means of living from a writer to abaca business. Angela died in 1995.
Angela’s poems are the only pre-war anthology of in English by a Filipino woman. One of her works is the English-Italian sonnet “To the Man I Married”. A sonnet is a poem written in 14 lines that has 10 syllables each line and a very specific rhyme scheme.
The sonnet “to the Man I Married” is a metaphorical way of Angela in showing how much she loves and needs her husband. This is everything that she felt for her husband even after his death.
“You are my earth and all that earth implies:
The gravity that ballasts me in space,
The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries
For food and shelter against devouring days.
You are the earth whose orbit marks my way
And sets my north and south, my east and west,
Your are the final, elemental clay
The driven heart must turn to for its rest.”
In these lines, Angela considered her husband her earth. The earth that provides her with everything that she needs in her life. He is her earth where her food is grown. Her husband is her shelter. He is the “air” that she breathes, the one that keeps her alive. He is the one that gives her directions through the marks that the “orbit” leaves, the one that sets her north and south, her east and west. He is her final elemental clay....
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