Category POEM

“One cannot write unless one has known satiety, debauchery, and the intimacy of desire, and can remember them “in moments of tranquility.”

— Luis G. Dato, Philippines Herald Mid-week Magazine in April 6, 1932

manila1 MANILA


By Luis G. Dato Manila is a woman smiling through a mask of paint,Breasts irradiant with cosmic challengesAnd invitations to the rivers and the meadows of the explorable infinite,An urgency at an intersectionWith a clique of clubbing ruffians from behind.…

stephentalla Traffic 1920s Shouting in the sky walled air. The a0ad55b5 32e8 4c8f 93dd b4d9a5af23d4 TRAFFIC


By Luis G. Dato Shouting in the sky-walled air.The rig-driver’s voice is husky and his throat is hoarse with yelling and shouting in the sky walled-air.He jerks the flesh-cutting reins and he dangles the sharp, blood-dripping lash.The horse is hungry.The legs…

stephentalla 1920s The city is a city always new Fountain of en bfc3e983 6ca3 434f bac1 d14cbfb70c01 THE CITY


By Luis G. Dato Here in the grass grows not longerThe eye to soothe, tired feet to cool –For hills are blocks and masonry,For lake exiguous swimming pool. There are no haunts – around the cornerDeath gasps in screeching brakesOr…



By Luis G. Dato Out where the wild vines spreadUpon the winding walls,I hear old madrigalsAnd music from the dead. There the grasses hangTheir canopy of leaves,Which oft at dawn receivesMatins the mayas sang. Where peace holds swaysOn mounted mossy…

ALTERED by Luis Dato


By Luis G. Dato He left for Manila one day in April, Said good-bye to the principal street in town,To the tall, austere cathedral beside it. At home the evening before,His mother a seedling planted, He stayed in the city…

ON BOOKS by Luis Dato


By Luis G. Dato From streets and the dirty places,The frost of the forgetful facesI have found me a refuge, the past;From the heat and the dust, the bitterForgetfulness, it is far sweeterTo seek the soothing calm of the past.…

stephentalla As from a sleep profound A long time in strange gr 8592d3b8 d796 47bb 9c71 e1078822899a POWER OF THE DREAM


By Luis G. Dato As from a sleep profound,A long time in strange ground,I woke to find my soul,Young as when faint with thirstOf love I knew it first.Invincible and whole. And this was all so strange,This change – anulling…

mi ultimo pensamiento


Mi Ultimo Pensamiento, a translation of Jose Rizal’s original Spanish Mi Ultimo Adios to English by Luis G. Dato in 1927. By Luis G. Dato Farewell, dear isles beloved of sea and sky, Where once we envisioned the gleam of…

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