E D I S O N I S M

Curiosity Knows No Boundaries

Jose Garcia Villa 55 Poems

Adaptation / Pag-Aangkop 41

By: J. Villa

The Manner of a Poet's Germination*

is less like that of a bean
in the ground than a waterspout
at sea. He has to
begin as a cloud

of all the other poets he ever
read: and first
the cloud reaches down!
toward the water
from above, and then

The water reaches up! toward
the cloud from
below—and finally cloud
and water join
together to roll as

one pillar between heaven and
earth: the base
of water he picks from
below, all the life
he lived outside of books.

* From a talk by Robert Frost. Quoted in Beloit Poetry Journal, chapbook no. 5.

 

Translated By: H. Francia

Ang Pamamaraan ng Pagsibol ng Isang Makata*

ay di gaanong tulad ng sa isang patani
sa lupa
kundi sa isang bumubulwak na tubig
sa dagat. Kailangan niyang
magsimula bilang isang alapaap

ng lahat ng mga iba pang makata na kanyang
nabasa: at sa umpisa
ang alapaap ay aabutin ang ibaba!
patungo sa tubig
mula sa itaas, at pagkatapos

ang tubig ay aabutin ang itaas! patungo
sa alapaap mula
sa ibaba—at sa wakas ang alapaap
at ang tubig ay magsasamang
magkakabit upang gumulong bilang

isang haligi sa, pagitan ng langit at
ng lupa: pinupulot
niya mula sa salalayan ng tubig
sa ibaba, ang lahat ng buhay
na naranasan niya sa labas ng mga aklat.

* Mula sa isang pagsasalita ni Robert Frost. Nabanggit sa Beloit Poetry Journal, ikalima ng kabanatang-aklat.

New Poem / Bagong Tula 40

By: J. Villa

The, zeta, truth—the, swift, red, Christ.

The, red-thighed, distancer, swift, saint,
Who, made, the, flower, principle,
The, sun, the, hermit's, seizures,
And, all, the saults, zigzags, and,
Sanskrit, of, love.
Verb-verb, noun-noun:
Light's, latticer, the, angel, in, the, spiderweb:
By, whose, espials, from, the, silk, sky,
From, his, spiritual, ropes,
With, fatherest, fingers, lets, down,
Manfathers, the, gold, declension, of, the, soul

Crown, Christ's, kindle, Christ! or, any, he,
Who, builds, his, staircase, fire—
And, lays, his, bones, in, ascending,
Fever, Verb-verb, king's-spike—who, propels,
In, riddles! Six-turbined,
Deadlock, prince, And, noun,
Of, all, nouns: inventor, of, great, eyes: seesawing,
Genesis', unfissured, spy: His, own, Arabian,
His, love-flecked, eye!
The, ball, of birth, the, selfwit,bud,
So, birthright, lanced, I, hurl, my, blood, beat, Light.

And, watch, again, Genesis', phosphor, as
Blood, admires, a, man. Lightstruck,
Lightstruck, into, the, mastertask,
No, hideout, fox, he, wheels, his, grave, of
Burning, and, threads, his,
Triggers, into, flower: laired,
In, the, light's, black, branches: the, food, of,
Light, and, light's, own, rocking, milk.
But, so, soon, a, prince,
So, soon, a, homecoming, love,
Nativity, climbs, him, by, the, Word's, three, kings.

—Or, there, ahead, of, love, vault, back,
And, sew, the, sky, where, it, cracked!
And, rared, in, the, Christfor, night,
Lie, down, sweet, by, the, betrayer, tree.
To-fro, angel! Hiving, verb!
First-lover-and-last-lover grammatiq:
Where, rise, the, equitable, stars, the, roses, of, the,
Zodiac,
And, rear, the, eucalypt, towns, of, love: —
Anchored, Entire, Angel:
Through, whose, huge, discalced, arable, love,
Bloodblazes, oh, Christ's, gentle, egg: His, terrific, sperm.

 

Translated By: H. Francia

Ang Nakaduong Anghel

At, kanyang, inihiga, ang, ginintuang, ama,
(Kamao, ng, Pagsilang, lahat, banayad, ngayon)
Sa, pagitan, ng, Pader, ng, Tsina, at,
Ng, tigreng, puno (ang, kanyang, mga, dan-
taon, ang, kanyang,
Mga, kawad-hangin, ng, liwanag).
Nakaduong, buong, anghel!
Siya, sa, kanyang, kalagayan, kababalaghan, at, nabu-
buhay, na, hamog,
Ang, kanyang, mga, mitsa, ginto, ang,
kanyang, mga, kobalto, pagibig,
At, sa, kanyang, mga, hukaymata,
O, sa, ilalim, ng, leong-nagsasabing, araw-
Ang, zetang, katotohanan—ang, matuling, pulang, Kristo.

Ang, may, pulang-hitang, manlalampas, ma¬tuling, santo,
Na, siyang, gumawa, ng, alituntunin, ng, bulaklak,
Ng, araw, ng, mga, biglang-sumpong, ng, ermitanyo
At, lahat, ng, mga, igtad, paliku-liko, at,
Sanskrito, ng, pagibig.
Pandiwa-pandiwa, pangalan-pangalan:
Tagasala-sala, ng, liwanag, ang, anghel, sa, sapot, ng, gagamba:
Sa, pamamagitan, ng, kanyang, mga, taga¬pagmasid, mula, sa, sutlang, langit
Mula, sa, kanyang, mga, banal, na, lubid,
Na, may, mga, pinakaamang, daliri, ibinababa,
Inaanaktao, ang, gintong, pagkadalisdis, ng, kaluluwa.

Korona, ni, Kristo, paningasin, si, Kristo! o,
sinuman, siya,
Na, nagtatayo, ng, kanyang, hagdanang, apoy-
At, inilalatag, ang, kanyang, mga, buto, sa, pataas, na,
Lagnat. Pandiwa-pandiwa, pakong-hari-
na, nagbubunsod,
Sa, pamamagitan, ng, mga, bugtong! May,
anim-na-turbina,
Pagkakauntulan, prinsipe. At, pangalan,
Ng, lahat, ng, mga, pangalan: manlilikha, ng, mga,
dakilang, mata: nag-uulik-ulik,
Walang, bitak, na, titik, ng, Pagsilang:
Ang, Kanyang, sariling, Arabe,
Ang, Kanyang, matang, may batik-pagibig!
Ang, bola, ng, Kapanganakan, ang, buko,
ng, kakayahang-sarili,
Kaya't, karapatang-kapanganakan, nasibat, ini-
hagis, ko, ang, aking, palo-dugong, Liwanag,

At, pagmasdang, muli, ang, pagkinang, ng,
Pagsilang, gaya,
Ng, paghanga, ng, dugo, sa, isang, tao.
Hampas-liwanag,
Hampas-liwanag, tungo, sa, pinakamabigat, na, tungkulin
Walang, taguan, zoro, siya, inikot, ang,
kanyang, libingan, na,
Nagliliyab, at, pinalusot, ang, kanyang,
Mga, kalabitan, upang, mamulaklak: nakayungib,
Sa, mga, maiitim, na, sanga, ng, liwanag: ang, pagkain, ng,
Liwanag, at, ang, sariling, umuugoy, na,
gatas, ng, liwanag.
Nguni't, kay, daling, panahon,
isang prinsipe
Kay, daling, panahon, isang, pagbabalik, pagibig
Kapanganakan, ay, inakyat, siya, sa, pamamagitan,
ng, tatlong, hari, ng, Salita.

—O, doon, una, pa, sa, pagibig, umigpaw,
nang, pabalik,
At, tahiin, ang, langit, kung, saan, ito, pumutok!
At, napatangi, sa, kay-Kristong, gabi,
Humiga, matamis, sa, tabi, ng, nagkanulong, puno.
Paroo't-parito, anghel! Nagbabahay-puk-
yutang, pandiwa!
Unang-mangingibig-at-huling-
mangingibig, gramatiko:
Kung, saan, pumailanlang, ang, mga, karampatang, tala,
ang, mga, rosa, ng
zodiako,
At, itayo, ang, mga, eukaliptong, bayan, ng, pagibig:
—Nakaduong, Buong, Anghel:
Sa, pamamagitan, ng, kanyang, napakalaking,
nakayapak, naaararong, pagibig:
Ay, nagdidingasdugo, oh, banayad, na, itlog,
ni, Kristo: ang, Kanyang, kasindak-sindak, na, tibod.

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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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