Sunday, January 23, 2005

And if the Heart Can Not Love

Jose Garcia Villa (1908-1997) is a Filipino poet who devoted a big part of his life to writing short stories and poems. He won a prize from the Philippines Free Press for his short story, “Mir-i-Nisa,” and migrated to the U.S. using the money. He edited, published, and founded the magazine Clay, and contributed to other famous American magazines. He received many other awards, was conferred the Degree of Doctor in Literature (1959) and National Artist Award for Literature (1973). Before his death in 1973, he expressed his wish of being buried with a “barong” on. This signifies his unending love for his country, the Philippines.

This poem appeals to me through its short, simple and direct yet meaningful way of expressing the need for love in one’s life.

Wanda Madarang

AND IF THE HEART CAN NOT LOVE
Jose Garcia Villa

And if the heart can not love
death can not cure it nor sleep
no splendor of wound the heart
had no sound
Bloom has escaped it and
birth the miraculous flower
and music and speech leave
it unbewitched
God it can not spell nor sun
nor lover the beautiful word
and it has no sound no sound

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The poem emphasizes the idea of how important love is. Describing without love our heart can never be "cured" even by death or sleep. I like this poem because it takes a very different approach; a romantic poem with a sad tone and dark delivery.

- Tsang, Carlsberg r16

Jim said...

This poem stresses the importance of love in one’s existence. Even the most dreadful things in life, like death and injury, could not solve such immense crisis. The presence of love leads to security, affection and the feeling of acceptance. The lack of it, however, hinders one from perceiving the most obvious things, like the “bloom of the flower,” and from doing the simplest things, like “spelling the word God or lover.” The absence of love in one’s heart removes its music and grandeur, leaving him/her powerless and without any purpose. Also, one becomes dark, like the poem's tone.
--Neil Jameson Sta. Isabel

Ralph said...

It sounds like a really standard poem. Essentially, it speaks of the incapacity of a person to love (or be loved). In this case, it is difficult to persuade the heart, as stated in lines 7-8 ("music and speech leave it unbewitched"). Not even God can alter such feelings. It is a reality that some people have succumbed to, a handicap that is not being able to love.

--> Ralph Mendoza