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Young Bards Have High Hopes For Poetry

(By Mayo Uno Martin)

How typical. Arriving at Cafe Papemelroti along Roces Avenue, Quezon City, I find them on the second floor, rummaging through Books For Less" second hand books. A wave and minutes later, the members of High Chair finally head downstairs for some coffee and beer.

For the group, it's all routine. Invade a bookstore, score some cheap find, find some place to regroup and goof around. Or, if they're in the mood, talk about poetry all night long.

Which may or may not be your typical notion of how poets go about with their night lives. Not that their whereabouts at night are as crucial as to the nation's collective psyche as Kris Aquino's. But poets, believe it or not, do have an audience. And High Chair wants to make sure they stay.

Formed last year, the group consists of young poets Alex Gregorio, Allan Popa, Mabi David, Kristine Domingo and Marc Gaba. All twenty something upstarts who've decided to up the stakes in the business of poetry.

"High Chair is a not-for-profit company built on the belief that poetry matters,” explains Gaba. What started out as a verse-loving barkada has transformed into something more palpable. The indie publishing company has come out with its first project, Popa's third book of poetry Samsara, and in a couple of months, they'll be launching a website on poetry.

Future Perfect: The Work of Literature

(By Gemino H.Abad)

Going over almost 100 years of our poetry in English, I find that it was simply inevitable that, with facility in English and mastery of its poetic forms, our writers would discover new ways of forging the work called poem and so establish a poetic tradition. I use "forging" in its triple sense-to fashion, to feign, and to forge ahead or move forward-because poetry is always a matter of reinventing the language and seeing anew our historical reality that the language is used to express or evoke.

In the 1970s, it was as though the poet needed to free himself from New Criticism-not from the discipline of craftmanship, but from obsession with rhetoric and its figures (irony, paradox, tension, ambiguity), and from the ideology of the poem as autonomous.

In the 1970s also, as an effect of political activism, it had again become urgent for the poet to connect with his social reality without neglecting the formal requirements of his art. We see this move in, say, Alfrredo Navarro Salanga and Gelacio Guillermo, but it only stresses that from the very beginning-from Ponciano Reyes's "The Flood" in 1905, through Carlos Bulosan and Rafael Zulueta y da Costa, to the very present-our poets in English, despite the trance of the English poetic and critical sensibility, stood upon their own native ground.

Birthing Woman Artist

(By:Patrick Flores)

These women's iconograpies go beyond etnic trinkets, free spirits, goddesses and stereotypical portraits of poverty.

The theme of birthing sustains much of the metaphor with which women artists have conceived the world and, in this season of centennials, the nation.

The problem of rendering the gender as a vital discourse in the transformative practice of art has been dealt with in many ways. But the most significant gains come from that history. This undertaking has made us believe that women are subjects and not only objects of study or bearers of the male look; at the end of the day, women through their art take on meaning as women artists in culture and society. The power to assert identity is the heart of such search. And the field of art has proven to be a rich vineyard from which a harvest of ordeals can be reaped

Sweeping changes

The first woman artist to gain auspice in Philippine art history was Pelagia Mendoza y Gotianquin (1867-1939) who was the first woman student of the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura, the only coeducational institution in Spanish Philippines. Under the mentorship of Agustin Saez and Lorenzo Rocha, she won an award in sculpture for a bust of Columbus during the celebration of the quattrocentenial of the "discovery" of America.

Ang Wika Ng Karunungang Filipino

(By: Virgilio S. Almario)

Tuwing ipagmamalaki ni Senador Blas F. Ople ang kahalagahan ng wikang pambansa, malimit niyang banggitin ang naging pangangailangan sa isang Shakespeare upang kilalanin ang Ingles, sa isang Dante upang maging wika ng buong Italya ang wika ng kanyang Commedia, o sa isang Alexander Pushkin upang igalang ang wikang Ruso sa kaniyang bansa. Tagapagdiin siya ng paniwala na napakalaki ng tungkulin ng dakilang mga akda tunggo sa paggalang at pagtanggap sa isang wikang katutubo upang piliing wika ng isang bansa mula sa hanay ng kalipunan ng iba pang wikang katutubo. Ito halimbawa ang saloobin ng kaniyang pahayag na Chaucer ng Tagalog si Balagtas.

Kung sa bagay, panitikan ang pinakasukdulang patotoo ng pag-unlad ng isang wika. At tiyak na masasabing inihatid ni Francisco Balagtas ang wikang Tagalog sa isang karurukan, sa pamamagitan ng 'Florante at Laura.' Ginampanan niya sa wikang Tagalog ang paglilingkod ni Chaucer sa wikang Ingles. Katulad ni Chaucer, ang mahusay na pagkasulat ni Balagtas sa Florante at Laura ay makatatawid sa lahat ng balakid at mga suliranin ng wikang Tagalog.

Vigan: A Journey Through The Heartland




(By: Arnold Molina Azurin)

A trade post in Ilocos since precolonial times, Vigan is often mistaken for Villa Fernandina, the short-lived pueblo founded in 1572 by the conquistador Juan de Salcedo, grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

This misimpression is just one of several fictions embedded in the historic scenery of Vigan. For the moment, however, the stolid, brick-faced structures of the town have caught the fancy of antiquarian cultural czars in Manila and travelers longing to bask in Vigan's ante bellum aura.

Enthralled visitors often say that an afternoon of stroll through the narrow streets of Vigan - with the old houses" eaves casting shadows on the gently winding lane - seems to lead the traveler to a palpable colonial past. Writers, artists, and ordinary excursionists flock to Vigan to see whatever they wish to see, which is invariably a quaint and genteel pueblo where they can indulge their nostalgia for a romantic past and escape the pressing realities of the workaday world.



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