Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Eugenio R. Corpus III graduated in 1995 with a degree in Computer Engineering at Mapua Institute of Technology. In addition to writing poetry, he writes song lyrics, short stories and plays musical instruments. His poetry has been published in Reflections Magazine, Makata International Magazine and Voices. In his poem, Farming, the situation of underprivileged farmers is made evident. It narrates of the emotions, needs and inconsolable aspirations of those whose lives or efforts are not adequately acknowledged. It is resonant of the reality that is ongoing in this country, which some people outwardly neglect due to ignorance.

In relation to recent times, farmers at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac have been openly fighting for their rights by staging highly publicized strikes appealing to proprietors for higher compensation. Understanding these workers’ circumstances has put many to the test, as their pleas for change have also resulted in violent outrage form both parties. Through this poem, we are challenged to see the truth behind the matter, and therefore gain a more accurate perception of the experiences farmers deal with every day.

Rachel De Mesa

Eugenio R. Corpus III

It wasn't the day when we're supposed to play
the games childhood memories molded
from Jacinto St. to Banadero St.
making dreams on the piles of hay,
the blonde complexion of a blithesome day
where the wind would blow
and come the furious breathe
of summer breeze in an afternoon delight.
A bloater on the table, with spoon and fork
waiting for everybody, to arrive and smile
in glee even if perspiration define their shirts
with blisters of hunger gurgling
inside the corners of their stomachs.
We were a family then
with songs and hymns, I recall,
singing out of tunes
the most comforting song
accompanied by unstringed
acoustic guitar.
The visage of darkening clouds
never appear on the afternoon,
freedom of speech calorifica,
twisted fist raised to heaven
chanting restlessly.
We were children then
young with noble hearts
and the sight of darkness
encourages us to dream
with our eyes staring away form the glint
of the reshaping horizon
now hand painted by black clouds
and evaporated coffee cups.
The grasses were brown,
the cretaceous soil is dry
a familiar bird of glossy black plumage
roam the openness of the sky
with its conical bill
and harsh cry,
blocking my view of the angry sun.
Looking for oxygen but with
a lighter on hand
the etiquette of the afternoon circumnavigates
on the desirous fire, the rice stalks burn,
we were there, holding hands



Anonymous said...

This poem sheds light on an essential but neglected sector in our society. It depicts farmers not just as workers who work in the fields to provide us with our food, but also as thinking, feeling human beings.
-thea cuaso

Anonymous said...

Like what we learned in lit class, there are many 'forgotten' people in society who wish to be written about. Farmers are among these people. This poem clearly responds to their need by exposing their many aspirations & pleas.

-Melissa Santiago R16

Sofia Ma. Isabel O. Mathay said...

This poem successively drives the point that farming is one of the most overlooked jobs that is often connected to being part of the lower classes of society. It talks about how important farmers are focusing on their values such as patience, cooperation etc. It leaves the reader realizing that farming is one noble and dignified job. It is a job that requires a person poor in spirit, humble and sincere something that is not often seen in modern times.

Jim said...

The poem uses flashback in its narration. Before, most of the people were farmers, and agriculture was one of the most highly-recognized sectors of the nation. But as the country experienced industrialization, the farming industry was set aside to make way for innovation. In the poem, the crow blocks the persona’s view of the sun. The crow, which is a symbol for death, also signifies the modern industries that are encircling the farmers, like death looming around the corner, blocking them from due appreciation. The burning rice stalks show the farmers’ desire to be acknowledged and be treated important for what they do, just like everyone else.
--Neil Jameson Sta. Isabel