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

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.…

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…

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…

intramuros

INTRAMUROS

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

ALTERED

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

ON BOOKS

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.…

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

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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