Saturday, May 5, 2007

MY SO-CALLED POEMS -- Part 1: Inanities That Rhyme

When I was a young girl (yup, I was one, long ago and far away), I wrote lines, forced them to rhyme and called them poems.

This one, published in our gradeschool newsletter in its mimeographed glory, must have made the golden moon turn blue:

Oh, wonderful, wonderful moon
I wonder why you don't shine at noon.
Are you a pretty lamp in the sky
Or just a round ball up high?
If you are a guide to me at night
Please don't go away from my sight.

Hey, my teachers didn't think that was too bad. For soon after that was published, I was "commissioned" to write customized poems for special occasions. One "Red Cross something something Day," the class orator recited this earthshaking masterpiece to a young audience. An audience of one awed pupil (who lipsed the lines as they were being recited onstage) and 997 blank-faced others.

Red Cross, ah, the organization
That is loved and honored by the whole nation.
You helped the Filipinos and soldiers in war
Ah, you're the help that God has bore.

Red Cross, you'll die never
For you, you are the nation's saver
---------------- (Sorry forgot the unforgettable lines that ended this disaster of a poem. Pang Red Cross talaga?!)

In high school -- season of sexual awakening, crushes, and "uy, may gusto" contagion -- my verses were that of a bright-eyed girl starting to think the world revolved around one special boy. A boy whose specialness was simply in making the mistake of sending her her first cellophane-wrapped bunch of Valentine flowers.

I keep each rose you gave me and every night in bed
I kiss its faded petals as I kissed your lips so red
One way they make me happy but another they make me sad
For they speak of a love that was lovely but now has turned to naught.

You've gone away, gone far away beyond my reach
And now I'm sure you'll never come back sweet
So each night as I count the stars with a pillow on my cheek
I hold each rose you gave me and kiss it as I weep.

I wrote more love-sick inanities in first year college.

They say that you care, I hope you do too
But to say you won't dare, is it true, is it true?
You talk about the weather each time you come a-calling
But the sweet words you say never, though deep down I am waiting.

True love can speak, true love can sing
If yours is not weak, let it ring, let it ring.
Ring it low and sweet, music to my ear
Then loud and hard ring it, that all the world may hear.

Now, tell me if I hadn't every reason to want to hang or bang my head in shame when at 12, Bonch (my youngest daughter) showed herself capable of writing such as this:

I curse the clock for being slow
I curse it too for being fast.

Indulge my nostalgic mood and wait for Part 2 -- Growing in My So-Called Poetry. That is, if no one heckles Part I. Please don't ask if that's a promise or a threat.


rhodora said...

Ganda naman your lines, a! I mean, they were appropriate, at the time and age you wrote them.

Pero, teka, Anna, for your 12 year old daughter to write:

"I curse the clock for being slow
I curse it too for being fast."

Sorry, dear friend, ha... pero, mas magaling nga ang daughter mo. hehehe.

amgine said...

they're really nice, i like the first poem especially. ur really born to write ma'am.

ladycess said...

oh come on, your poems are great! ala-emily dickinson.

Leah said...

Oh my dear Anna
Your poems are sweet
So gentle and innocent.
Ayy....I'm not good in poem making so here's my comment na lang!

labs ko the first poem...very creative for a yound grade school girl.

And I like the sweetie, sweetie ones too.

Looking forward to the next ones.

diogenes said...

Your poems have got nothing to do with time when they were written. They appeal the same way to soo many as they didi to you when youu wrote them. That is the beauty of true passions. No?

snglguy said...

I used to dabble in them inanities too ages ago. Back when I thought I had the talent for words, and boy was I ever wrong... :-)

kathy said...

I also had a couple of poems published in our school organ - but I could not remember the words now. Ang galing mo naman, you remembered the poems you wrote as a young girl! Unless you kept a copy of your poems somewhere, hehe. ;)

Looking forward to Part 2!

Belle TH said...

anna, writing definitely runs in your family. i just love reading good poems like yours. it is like mixing and matching clothes and you come up with beautiful ensemble.

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Anna. It's wonderful that you had the gift for writing at an early age. It's good that you were able to enhance your talent through the years. Thanks for sharing.

Lazarus said...

Hi, anna! It's my first time here. I read about you in dine's blog and i like it here.

Mind if i link you up?

chateau said...

Your early poems remind me of my early attempts too, along with my friend who is a REAL poet (to this day, she is active in the lit world). We were in 3rd grade. And the teacher asked us to recite a poem.. Well, what do I recite? HER poem which she shared to me while in the making! It was the first time I heard the word "plagiarism". Had to look it up when I got home. LOL!
How nice that you kept your poems. You really had it even early on. :) Be waiting for Part 2!

Toe said...

Red Cross, ah the organization and why the moon doesn't shine at moon? Hahahaha... you really are funny Annamanila! Not funny, funny... but funny, entertaining and nakakatuwa. Really, you have this different humor... cge... threaten us with more poems... I am sure to enjoy them. :)

But I agree... mas magaling anak mo. ;)

julie said...

Thank you for sharing your poems. Your poems bespoke of the stages in your life, the phases that you went through as you were learning life's lessons. Sometimes people regret writing lines that were their sentiments at the present time. But then, we can not truly say these are corny, especially when the words came from the heart.

Have a good week ahead of you.

pining said...

wow, I really like the first one :-)
I can see you're a natural!
I always think if you can write poetry, then you can always write anything and everything under the sun...

Gina said...

The saying practice makes perfect is true ano? I read your later poems and I truly like them - my favorite ,Sunsets. I'm sure you must have more in a treasury somewhere, so come on share.

kate said...

hay tita, it took me not one but TWO poetry electives (both english and filipino) to make me realize i wasn't born to write poetry ;P the bonch is a really good poetess in the language -- well, san pa ba magmamana ;)

sasha said...

Maganda naman ang poems mo, tita! For someone as young as you were, magaling na talaga ito! :)

Gypsy said...

Anna! Galing mo ah--child poet-prodigy ka pala..hehe. Mas bibilib pa ako if you sent those love poems to the one who inspired you to write them. Hehe.

exskindiver said...

i love the way you added the "ah"s to the red cross poem.
i can almost hear it being recited.
about bonch--
truly the apple does not fall far from the tree.

zeroimpact said...

I see you got a hand in poems
I like them

auee said...

Maganda naman poems mo ah. It's good that you still have them & you know when you wrote them, para na ding chronicle mo at particular stages of your life.

I'm looking forward to the part 2 ha. Let's see the changes you underwent

vernaloo said...

wow naman Anna! I also write poems when I was in elementary but I stopped when I reached HS..medyo madalang na kasi yung mga contest2x during that time. I made lots of poems though but never akong nakasulat ng love poem..sheesh..hindi kasi ako makarelate nung mga panahon na yun hehehe

annamanila said...

Thank you, blog buds, for reading my so-called poems speaking of them gently, thinking they were good enough for the time/age i wrote them.

I think I will repay these kindnesses the best way I know how -- by not inflicting you on you my later poems. You see, I didn't really grow in my so-called poetry.

Well unless I surprise myself by writing a really good one before the weekend.

exskindiver said...

was i dreaming or did my comment get lost in the shuffle?

Your youngest daughter is just proving that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
or santol,
whichever fruit you choose.

MrsPartyGirl said...

everyone's right, you were and are such a talented poet :) the closest i've ever gone to rhyming was when my grade school teacher made me create a "rap" song for a vegetable (kalabasa yata, i forgot na, haha!). it was fun, but definitely not in the same league as your poems :) btw, the red cross piece, rocks! :D

houseband00 said...

Ah, the first crush. =)

Remembering that person now, after so many years, makes me smile.

Love your poetry, Anna! =)

sheilamarie said...

Hi Anna! Lovely poems you wrote =) just proves that you had a talent in writing since you were a child.

I used to clip and collect poems when I was younger (mostly from the old Women's Magazine). I still have them back at home =) hanggang collect lang, LOL! I never composed my own.

Abaniko said...

Sige nga Anna, magsulat ka ng poem this time using the two-letter words used in Scrabble like qi, pe, za and ka. Tapos gamitin mo rin ang ibang q words like qat, qadi, qoph and qursh. Dapat nagra-rhyme ha. Hehe.

niceheart said...

Wow! You are quite the poet pala. I don't think I can compose poems. :)

SASSY MOM said...

hi, anna!

love your poems... you really write well. Very apt for those times talaga.

Happy Mother's Day!

sexy mom said...

once a poet, always a poet. i can see how you excel in both prose and poetry. i can see how your poetry began with the youthful innocence to the high school love struck fun. i wonder how it was with the real love, lust and romance.

Stat Counter