A POETICS FOR THE LYRIC SEQUENCE:
AND THE NECESSARY ENGAGEMENT OF EVIL
My book project is a lyric sequence about Martial Law.
I was born in 1976, believe it or not, by the time I was 7 years old in 1983, when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated, that cold-blooded murder served only to confirm my childhood fear: that there was something very wrong about Filipino Society—and I don’t use caps lightly—that the big, bad world out there was really big and really bad.
The lyric sequence is built, stacked, layered. One can liken it to a novel or a marathon in terms of “chapters” and “pacing.” Those are very apt comparisons. But for the purposes of this poetics, I would like to use the concept of collocation. Someone has defined the lyric sequence as:
Read More Read More
Honoring Identities: Why and How I Write Poetry
For many poets, the commitment to writing poetry begins with a sure and eager appreciation of expression. That appreciation may be in the reception of another’s work—as when one discovers the work of a talented poet, an experience that compels many to produce work of the same caliber (whether that attempt is successful is another question)—or in the more personal, visceral desire for artful expression: “I have something to say, and I would like to say it beautifully.”
Writing poetry began in this fashion for me. I started writing poems in 2001, after I discovered poetry through an introductory course in university. I was a sophomore then, and had almost no knowledge of the genre. Previously, the closest I came to approaching poetry was in an English class in high school, where a standard-issue textbook presented a Robert Frost poem, “Mending Wall”. Little was done with the poem besides reading it aloud in class. Our teacher fed us an interpretation: the poem was not literally about mending walls, she said. It was about building and repairing relationships, and that was that. We answered as much when the question was asked in subsequent exercises:
Read More Read More