Saturday, April 19, 2008

EKPHRASIS: Seurat, Botticelli

Sa isang nakaraang post, may petsang Pebrero 19, 2008, nabanggit ko na may mga nasulat na akong mga tula tungkol sa painting na “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” ni Georges Seurat at “Birth of Venus” ni Sandro Botticelli, pero ‘kako ay kailangan ko munang halukayin ang luma kong files para sa mga tulang iyan.

Eto na, nahalukay at na-recover ko na.

Parehong circa early 1960s pa nasulat ang mga ito, noong nagsusulat
pa ako ng tula sa Ingles, and more than 40 years before I even heard
the word "ekphrasis," the term for poems about the visual arts or artistic objects.

Ang "La Grande Jatte," tungkol sa painting ni Georges Seurat, ay
nalathala sa Heights Magazine ng Ateneo de Manila. Kung hindi ako
nagkakamali ay si Gemino "Jimmy" Abad ang nagbigay sa akin ng
photocopy ng tula kong ito, na nakalimutan ko nang sinulat ko. In
fact, si Jimmy ang pinagkakautangan ko ng photocopies ng maraming
tula ko sa Ingles, na ang karamihan ay naibaon ko na sa limot, pero
nahalukay niya noong gumawa siya ng research para sa kanyang
groundbreaking anthology na A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and
Verse from English, '60s to the '90s (1999).

Ang "Birth of Venus," tungkol sa painting ni Sandro Botticelli," ay
sinulat noong i-ban ng Post Office from the mails ang issue ng
Philippines Free Press na nag-reproduce sa painting na ito bilang
ilustrasyon sa isang editorial. Nagkataong may naitago akong
makinilyadong kopya ng tulang ito. Hindi ko maalala kung na-publish
ito at all, pero alam kong hindi pa ako nagtatrabaho sa Free Press
nang mangyari ang Post Office banning. (Unfortunately, this second
poem only makes sense if you know the "historical" background.) Ang
naalala ko ay si Fernando "Butch" Zialcita, ang predecessor ko bilang
presidente ng Ateneo Arts Club, ang nagpadala sa akin ng postcard na
nasa loob ng envelope.





















"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte"
By Jose F. Lacaba

It seems the French have Sunday afternoons
Static, and under certain moods I find it
Enviable, to recline on the grass away from
Urban banter, pipe in mouth, or to sit
Silent in the shade, with umbrella in the sun,
Gazing at placid boats afloat without
The hurry of a destination. A trombone
Plays, but like lovers walking makes no shout,
Its music floats almost unnoticed, except
By a girl skipping alone, among people
Strolling nobly: she makes no trouble, left
To herself. No one, I am sure, will ogle
Though the ladies are supple for all to see.
A dog will not even bother to bark at a monkey.



















"The Birth of Venus" Uncensored

By Jose F. Lacaba

A postcard in an envelope is rather
Unusual, but if the postcard is
The Birth of Venus, it's understandable.
A friend, touring Florence, had seen her,
A naked newborn babe striding the foam
While a corporeal wind blows roses
All around her. Ecstatic, he sent me
Wistful envy. It is true she beguiles,
She enchants like a witch, not even from
A reproduction can the fact be hid.

I smile at the ruse of the envelope:
We live, alas, in a land that cannot stand
Sorcery of any sort, always ready
With the thick red cloak and exorcisms
To counteract the charm and break the spell.
We choose the future husband at the anvil
As our muse, and we would see the goddess
Banned, for she will give us love, and that
Is an embarrassing thing, so old-fashioned.

7 comments:

stoxbnx3 said...

wow. may blog ka pala sir! estudyante nyo po ako dati sa journ196 sa UPD. :)

Ka Pete said...

Journ 196 was the seminar course on literary journalism, right? Please identify yourself. Kung ayaw mong magpakilala sa blog na ito, email me directly if you still know my email address.

stoxbnx3 said...

yep, that was the one. :)
ako po si a. estoquia. you probably don't remember me, though, kasi medyo out of this world ako noon (medyo lang). kami ata yung last batch na tinuruan mo sa j196, although i'm not sure. batch kami nina frank alcones, kirk campos, etc. maybe their names ring a bell. binigay ko pala blog address mo sa kanila. i hope that is okay.

Ka Pete said...

Okey, naalala na kita--at least ang pangalan mo. Aileen, right? Ang problema ko ngayon, pag nakikita ko ang mga dati kong estudyante, hindi ko maalala ang pangalan, pero pag naririnig ko ang pangalan, hindi ko naman maalala ang mukha. Inc yata ang grade mo. Na-complete mo ba?

stox said...

oo naman po. matagal na. :)

Anonymous said...

panalo! maganda rin siguro magawan nyo ng tula ang mga likha ni Vincent Van Gogh...maari po ba tayong magpalitan ng links?:)

joshua said...

www.nutribuns.blogspot.com salamat