Tuesday, August 12, 2008

revise! revise!

After two months of shaping my itsy-bitsy skill in poetry under the exceptional tutelage of Filipino poet Myrna Peña-Reyes, I am now squirming in embarrassment thinking of all those poetry that I’ve made before I enrolled in this one-student class (or more like a tutorial program knowing that I’m the only creative writing senior at school). And some of those poems were even critiqued in a national workshop! Shame.

The benefits of having Ma’am Myrna as my teacher are all worth it. Visual and audio aesthetics aside, my so-called poetry has been transformed from mere abstractions to a graspable chunk of material thought. “I think you have a lyrical mind too. You have a good ear for sounds,” she once said. Well, here’s the first version of the poem entitled To End a Wall that, somehow, got out of my head when I was wallowing in the days of seemingly endless despondency:


To End a Wall

Either one of us
will divide, break, or tear
this wall apart; and yes not push
because pushing things aside does not do
any good—they just fall. (You enforced
not to wait for someday and I said eradicating
that someday, hopefully, must be easy.)
If this wall remains standing,
stoic and solid, let it remain standing like
a sentinel that would remind us what we have done,
or consider it an idol, a wide white barren article
of the past wherein we hold our hands
inside one of its tiniest cracks, crooked serpents
crossing the coarseness of its concrete face,
and see if greatness in mistakes crumbles
by the littlest plastering of confessions.


And this is the last revision, so far, that I think looks and feels good. In poetry, nothing ends—revision is crucial to the development of a particular piece, both in form and substance. What makes me happier is that my teacher agreed. Here it is:


To End a Wall

Someday
one of us
will divide, break or tear
this wall apart
and yes, not push
because pushing things aside
does no good—they just fall.
(You said this someday would come,
and I hoped it would be easy.)
If it remains standing,
stoic and solid, let it remain standing
like a sentinel that would remind us
what lies we have said;
or consider it an object of worship,
a wide barren structure of the past
wherein we held hands
inside one of its cracks,
our fingers like crooked snakes crossing
the coarseness of its concrete face.
_________________________________________________________

5 comments:

(^oo^) bad girl (^oo^) said...

Very good......

f. jordan said...

Thank you very much.

michelle said...

Great! Great!

michelle said...

P.S. you are so farking lucky. one-on-one?? whoa. she does good work jordie:)

f. jordan said...

Thanks, Mich!

Yeah, one-on-one because ako lang ang senior CW sa Silliman! Hehehe... Supposedly, there was this student who would be my classmate but he/she backed out, so I was left alone. Such a waste...