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Jose Garcia Villa 55 Poems

Philosophica / Pilosopika Tula 53

By: J. Villa

Observe me, I do not speak.
But I am very quick
And already I have spoken.

Observe me as now I speak.
But I am very quick
And already I have unspoken.


Translated By: H. Francia

Masdan ako. Hindi Ako nagsasalita.
Nguni't Ako ay napakaliksi
At Ako ay nakapagsalita na.

Masdan ako ngayon habang Ako ay nagsasalita.
Nguni't Ako ay napakaliksi
At Ako ay nakabawi na.

Philosophica / Pilosopika Tula 52

By: J. Villa

When God my darling turned adulterous
I knew Who and When.
Since I loved I forgave.
Since I forgave I could not forgive.

For He was beyond forgiving, being God,
However adulterous.
Since He was so, He forgave.
Since He forgave He could not forgive.

And we were at a standstill-
God and I and Forgiveness at a standstill.
Until I knelt to Him I could not forgive
Until He knelt to me He could not forgive.

And the lesson of it is very great
And that is "How beautiful is hate."



Translated By: H. Francia

Nang ang Maykapal ang aking mahal ay nakiapid
Alam Ko kung Sino at kung Kailan
Sapagka't Ako ay umibig Ako ay nagpatawad,
Sapagka't Ako ay nagpatawad Ako ay hindi makapagpa-

Dahil Siya ay hindi abot ng pagpapatawad, bilang May-
Kahit na nakiapid.
Sapagka't Siya ay ganoon, Siya ay nagpatawad.
Sapagka't Siya ay nagpatawad hindi Siya makapagpa-

At nauwi kami sa isang pagtigil-
Ang Maykapal at Ako at ang Kapatawaran sa isang pag-
Hanggang hindi Ako lumuhod sa Kanya ay hindi Ako
Hanggang hindi Siya lumuhod sa akin ay hindi Siya

At ang aral nito ay napakabigat
At iyan ay ang "Gaano kaganda ang poor."

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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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