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Jose Garcia Villa 55 Poems

Early Poems / Mga Unang Tula 43

By: J. Villa

I demand brilliance and
Consecration. Because of a star.
How beautiful is the night like
Grass! Love is not far
Nor your hand.
This being so
Love me well, love me well.
Because what Love is
I saw.
I saw Love well:
Love tied a bell
To your heart. Love said, Kiss
Him and let your heart ring.
And this is the thing.


Translated By: H. Francia

Hinihiling ko ang katalinuhan at
Paglalaan. Dahil sa isang bituin.
Anong ganda ng gabi tulad ng
Damo! Ang pagibig ay di malayo
Ni ang kamay mo.
Pagka't ito'y ganito
Ibigin mo ako nang mabuti, ibigin mo ako nang mabuti.
Pagka't kung ano ang Pagibig
Ay nakita ko.
Nakita kong mabuti ang Pagibig:
Itinali ng Pagibig ang isang munting batingaw
Sa iyong puso. Ang sabi ng Pagibig, Halikan mo
Siya at hayaang umalingawngaw ang iyong puso.
At ito ang dahilan.

Early Poems / Mga Unang Tula 42

By: J. Villa

The Coconut Poem

The coconuts have ripened,
They are like nipples to the tree.
(A woman has only two nipples,
There are many women-lives in a coconut tree.)
Soon the coconuts will grow heavy and full:
I shall pick up one. . . many.. .
Like a child I shall suck their milk,
I shall suck out of coconuts little white songs:
I shall be reminded of many women

I shall kiss a coconut because it is the nipple of a woman.
(Age 17)


Translated By: H. Francia

Tula sa Niyog

Nahinog na ang mga bunga ng niyog,
Tulad nila ay mga utong sa puno.
(Ang isang babae ay may dalawang utong lamang,
Maraming mga buhay-babae sa isang puno ng
Di magtatagal at ang mga bunga ng niyog ay bibigat at
Pipitas Ako ng isa... marami.
Tulad ng isang sanggol sisipsipin Ko ang kanilang gatas,
Sisipsipin Kong palabas ang maliliit na puting awit
mula sa mga bunga ng niyog:
Maaalaala Ko ang maraming mga babae.

Hahalikan Ko ang isang bunga ng niyog pagka't ito ang utong ng isang babae.
(17 Gulang)

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Jose Garcia Villa

Citattion of the National Artist Award conferred on Jose Garcia Villa by the Philippine Government

on June 12, 1973

Jose Garcia Villa is one of the finest contemporary poets regardless of race or language. When Have Come , Am Here, the first of his poems to be published in the West, broke upon the surprised consciousness of readers, it was immediately acclaimed for its beauty of language, intensity of thought and a fierce religious spirit absent in the poetry of his age.

Villa's theme are universal- the meaning of self, man's combat with God, the passion of love. He inhabits a timeless world, like the great poets of any language. and rise the ultimate questions about the meaning of life.

The center of Villa's universe is man, the puny inhabitant of a tiny planet, and the poet measures him fearlessly in the scale of perfection, which is God. He affirms God with a lyric exaltation allied to the religious mystics. Yet, on behalf of man, he challeges God in a daring afirmation that the creature made in His image contains in himself the seeds of His perfection.

To the art of poetry Villa introduced the reversed consonance ryhme scheme for greater subtlety and discipline, and the "comma poems" which glorify the punctuation mark by a strangely innovative functional and poetic use.

Villa's poems are distillates of wisdom and passion, couched in language of grave beauty and measured grace. In the country of the poet's imagination, word and thought often have a fresh but baffling "strangeness." This surely springs from the mixed Filipino cultural heritage which shapes the contours of the poet's thoughts and confers on his created language its characteristic ring and flavor. With Villa the Philippines is fixed firmly on the literary map of the world.


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