Monthly Archives: January 2015

Because of Love (Translated)

So I tried translating an old Tagalog poem, and this is what I came up with. Since I still don’t know how the art of translation works, I did this by reading each stanza and writing down what I think the stanza means.

BECAUSE OF LOVE

YESTERDAY
And so I conclude, that all things
lead to melancholia,
When sorrow blooms, and fragrant rose
gardens serve as nests of mourning
Leading me to think of this world as nothing
but an empty grave.
For Yesterday, you were my poison.

TODAY
In my eyes, I see
nothing else but pure pleasure.
Even graveyards — far and desolate,
seem like beautiful gardens of solace;
and to me, the world seems even
smaller than my resolve.
As Today, I aim for glory.

TOMORROW
But who can, pray tell, show
me what my future would bring?
When life is but a boat
rocked by angry waves on a stormy sea,
in a place filled with laughter and tears.
Leave a hint of hope in a crooked world,
where Tomorrow, is just another game of chance..

Here is the original:

DAHIL SA PAG-IBIG
by Iñigo Ed. Regalado

KAHAPON…
Sa tingin ko’y tila pawang kalumbayan
ang inihahandog ng lahat ng bagay,
pati ng mabangong mga bulaklakan
ay putos ng luksa at pugad ng panglaw;
akala ko tuloy itong Daigdigan
ay isang mallit na libingan lamang.
Mangyari, Kahapon
ang dulot mo’y lason.

NGAYON…
Sa mga mata ko ay pawang ligaya
ang inihahandog ng bawa’t makita,
pati ng libingang malayo’t ulila
wari’y halamanang pugad ng ginhawa;
sa aking akala’y tila maliit pa
itong Daigdigan sa aking panata.
Papaano, Ngayo’y
nagwagi ang layon.

BUKAS…
Sino baga kaya ang makatatatap
ng magiging guhit nitong ating palad?
Ang buhay ng tao ay lunday sa dagat
na inaamihan at hinahabagat;
itong Daigdigan ay isang palanas
na nabibinhian ng lungkot at galak.
Bukas! Ang pag-asa’y
mahirap mataya…

So, what do you think?

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Brava Do

I’ve lost
the chance
to be —
somebody just
told me.
While hanging
out flourescent
lamps on
a bare ceiling,
clearly just
intent on
brightening
the room
growing darker
as the clouds warn
of rain and
better days.


Looking Glass

First poem for 2015.

An eye staring at an eye,

one is sure and the other

sad and decieving

hiding something

complicated

like the glass on a mosaic

smashed and broken

bleeding in streams of red

the color of joy and sacrifice

unfurled in a knowing smile

But the other does not know

that the face beyond the glass

is the same as the one looking.

Soo… do I have any chance of making it as a poet? 😀


Advice From A Young Reader

My seventeen year old sister has just started reading extensively late last year. From what I can recall, her interest was piqued right after reading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. Then, she started reading Tanya Hurley’s Ghostgirl series, but decided that it was too juvenile for her taste. So I recommended that she try the Twilight series, since she was getting into those popular YA novels that are (to my surprise) common on Kindle. When she was done with that, I told her to read Harry Potter, explaining that it was one of the reasons that I decided to choose the path of writing. Of course, I didn’t have to tell her that, but I do have this rather annoying habit of having to justify why I liked/hated something. Anyway, from Twilight to HP, she’s now trying out Murakami (starting from his collection of short stories Blind Willow,Sleeping Woman).

As I mentioned, I’m currently trying to finish my first novel. Ever since I decided to get serious with this craft (around two years or so ago), I’ve been writing mostly short stories, with my longest story so far being just around 4500 words. In my opinion, it is easier to write short stories, as most of them can be done in a sitting. While novels, they could take months, and are a bit difficult especially when that damn thing called “writer’s block” strikes. I’ve got a (fantasy) plot that I’ve been developing for almost 5 years. I started constructing the plot as a pastime (school can be boooring), before even considering to turn it into a novel. I also have two other plots under development: one is a pseudo-YA novel with teen romance as the central theme, and the other is more of speculative fiction. I started writing my YA in third-person limited, but after four chapters, I had to stop. I just wasn’t feeling it, and the whole story seemed out of place. So I asked my sister for her opinion, and here are things I have realized from her, a reader:

  • Before starting, consider your target audience first. Then, decide upon the language you will use (formal, informal).
  • First-person POV works best for YA stories, because teenagers are more concerned with knowing the character. This specially works well with romance or coming-of-age types.
  • Third-person omniscient can be distracting at times. If it’s absolutely necessary to use this POV, it’s better to just focus on a single character’s POV per chapter.
  • Names can make or break a character’s likability.
  • Unless you’re intending to write a literary piece, try to avoid highfalutin vocabulary. It’s distracting and tends to come off as pretentious.
  • Know when to show, and when to tell. Details are important, but too much of it can be dragging and boring.
  • Over-the-top characters are annoying.
  • Clumsy girls and brooding boys who fall in love, are overrated.
  • Don’t make your vampires sparkle.

I think, as a writer, knowing about what the readers like is also important. Because as a storyteller, we do not only do what we do to please ourselves, but to please others as well.  (I still suck at ending articles. X_x)

Happy New Year! Let’s all rock our 2015.