Saturday, January 24, 2004

World's Ark

DM Reyes is a teacher from the Filipino Department of Ateneo de Manila University. In 2001, he contributed a story entitled "Vespers at a Monastery Garden in Tagaytay" to Heights, a publication of literary works in Ateneo. This poem, which talks about creating a new life after a devastating storm, appeared in the story. The poem illustrates the hope of rebuilding a new world that promises “sweetness and radiance”. In itself, the title "World’s Ark" expresses that the poem was based on the Bible story "Noah’s Ark".

This poem reminds me of the Tsunami disaster that wiped out over two hundred thousand people from various Asian countries. "Noah’s Ark" and the Tsunami phenomenon have two things in common- they both caused mass destruction and widespread death. These tragedies however, though bleak as they seem, may also bring out something good- and that is hope. In the poem, vestiges of land for habitation reappear once more, whereas people from all over the world join in the relief effort to reconstruct the lives of Tsunami victims who were spared from death.

Victoria Hernandez

World’s Ark
DM Reyes

Dove which outruled the flood,
And tucked on its bill
The blessed sprig,
It plucked the shining olive
From the hill.

The wet leaves took their sheen
From the sun, sipping light
Like sacramental wine, turning it
To green hue and pure breath-

Intelligent blending of the body
With the world’s ray.
Old Earth baptized with light
From the radiant flame,

Receive this golden ray, trans-
Form it into fruit and take our hunger-
Watemelon globes sliced on the shore,
Purple grapes bursting on the hills

Of Provence, Balicasag oranges
Raised to Santiago de Compostela,
Horse rider and saint
Of the burned island.

Dayspring’s radiance is more
Than creation’s maxim, the night
Its weary hue. Here is resplendence,
Blessed, broken, and shared:

Golden crown of flowers declaring
Summer on a boulevard of trees,
Jasmine blooms filling the garden
With sweetness after rain,

These eyes struck with wonder-
Beholding the world, as from Noah’s
Lifted windows, sighting the world’s ark
Of greenest things.

Source: Heights XLVIII, No. 1, Copyright 2000. (From the Ateneo-Heights National Writers Workshop)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

symbolically, this poem says the cliche "after the rain comes the sun." It is obviously speaking of hope after sorrow.

-Leslie Mae Rivero