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

Life by Luis Dato


by Luis G. Dato Alas that life should be a dreamCompared to the unending sun!Rose throbbing o’er the flowing streamToday, tomorrow senseless ground! Alas that we cannot but stayOnly as comes the ocean wind,A sigh we hear above the WayAnd…

Lost One by Luis G. Dato

Lost One

O her motion was charming, her figure enchanting,I recall these too clearly with the thought she is dead,And her eyes they were wondrous, her lips they were redAs a rose freshly cut in the warm day-wind panting;And the shape of…

I am a Singer by Luis Dato

I Am A Singer

by Luis G. Dato I am a singer of strange forgetfulness.Song in my lips, but in my heart a wound;I am the bruised bird, singer of the evening,Which morning finds, wing-shattered, on the ground.

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by Luis G. Dato Our independence! over all the landOur people proud and jubilant all stand,To see upon the masts with tear-dimmed eyes,The sun and stars reach proudly to the skies. Blessed independence! may it ever beThe radiant symbol of…

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by Luis G. Dato With the dead shroud of past days to my face,I find but solitude upon the way,With Memory’s light to guide my pen I traceThis, lest today forget its yesterday. As surely as the rose that we…

Knock by Luis Dato

Love knock

by Luis G. Dato Knock, knock, knock. I knock at the gate of your heart. Only the hollow rustling of dead leaves answered my call. What if a blight have passed To see the the beauty within? I shall be…

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Last Word

By Luis Dato BELOVED, I regretThe world to leave,Since you might not forget;Still burns unquenched an ember. You still rememberWas this my fate?Still burns unquenched an emberIn you of hate. Beloved, I must leave,Is there regret?If love were wrong, forgive,If…

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Forgotten Songs

By Luis Dato The songs I sang in childhoodWhen I from care was free,Again I hear in momentsEntwined in memory. And with the songs of childhood,The past returns once more,Again I am as yesterday,A child by summer’s shore. God grant…

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By Luis G. Dato The morn beams my unseeing eyes caress,And, sudden, like some olden sorcery,Blind pupils open, filmy folds fall by,And now I see what I could only guess,The tumbled blossoms and a wildernessAnd disarray arrest the wakened eye,Here,…

VIA VITAE by Luis Dato


by Luis G. Dato This is the way we all will take (Good heavens! it is near a lake!), Way of all flesh, the way of life Punctuated with incessant strife. Behind the lake, the river winds Its course until…

Ferdinand Marcos with generals during the martial law in the Philippines, 1972

X’MAS, 1975

by Luis G. Dato This be our anguished prayer this x’mas day —May God our country save in disarray, May the good Lord who made the nations free, Our bondage end, return our liberty! For freedom, Lord, it is a…



(An English version of Florante at Laura by Francisco Balagtas as available to the translator in the Bikol version.) Translated by Luis G. Dato By a forest dim and shadowed, Dark with eaves and many thorns, Through whose brambly wildernesses,…

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