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abel d soto
abel soto DEAR HIRA,

I don't know why I suddenly liked your poem. At first reading, it didn't disturb me. Not at all. But after another read (I like it as "read", and not "reading"), it gladdened me, so much that it made my heart leap joyously for, again, reasons that I cannot surmise.

I don't even understand your poem, but in the deepest recesses of my being, I know your poem was talking to me. I do not know what it was saying, but I do know it was speaking to me, not so loud though, but just enough for me to be disturbed by its "incomprehensiveness." No matter how much I paid attention to it, I could not fathom what it was saying and what it meant by what it was saying. But it made sense to me. This, I think, is the mystery that lies in poetry. It always leaves you in a magical wonderment, a state of the mind, of the heart, and of one's being, that even a poem would not be able to express in its sublimity. Or I only think so?

Your style, at least in this poem, reveals that of e.e. cummings's, a great American poet, whose style is that of the French type of poetry employing "enjambment" (pronounced as an-ja-ma). Look for him in the e-village; I'm sure you won't miss him there. He's a great poet, because, probably, nobody (not even himself, I think) understood his poems.

I am really happy that you are taking time to write. Thank you for taking my advice. Again, I don't know why it is beautiful, but it is... it just is.

Write, write, and write more until "more" is "much" and until much is "you" revealed or unrevealed.

Thank you, Hira, for this poem. You caused me to write a reaction like this through your poem. I hope you don't mind the minor editings and little additions that I made. It's still your poem after my editings anyway. I hope, too, that you like the "name" I gave to your lovely (if "lovely" is the appropriate adjective for it) poem. Because I like it, maybe for the reason that it's as lovely as the poet. Ha-ha-ha.

Again, I suddenly LIKED your poem so much that I wanted to own it as mine. Ha-ha-ha. Can I call it mine as well? Ha-ha-ha.

I can't wait to hear from you again. Here's your poem again:

by Hira Yoshihara

(with apologies to e. e. cummings)

As the water breaks
Ripples into the sea, splashing
A sapphire gem tinkles down
From the ebony abyss of my eyes

I clench and flick cause of my repression
As the dark cloud embraces me
I suffocate and drown because of my suppression
I scream for a breath but no one hears

I want to run in my corner
To just disappear for a lifetime
To go and see the succumbed world
To go... see... and pass by...
(and/but merely pass by) because...

My eyes are tired
For seeing what I despise
My ears are deaf
For hearing what I oppose
My mouth is restless
For speaking what I believe in
And my body is weary
For blocking the pain

Why does a person have to suffer
So much of what should not be
To endure the world and all its pain
For the trite advice, "hold on"

A person couldn't just lie down and die
For he will be forcefully stoned for weakness
But no one sees the pain that I endure
No one sees the insanity in my head
No one ever feels the screaming scar
No one ever sees the pain
In my eyes, in my mind that I portray
No one but I... alone...

(At) "daybreak."

Hira, just always remember this statement from John Humphreys: "Forcing ourselves to write properly forces us to think properly."

Keep your writings coming! I will be anticipating them with gladness.

Sir Abel

[About the author. Abel D. Soto took up his certificatory double major course in Creative Writing and Performing Arts at Centre for Arts Foundation, Inc. in Quezon City. He also finished the Managing the Arts Program at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. He is a resident of Bacolor, Pampanga.]

*Author Notes: It's a poem emailed to me by a former student who is in the U.S. at present.

-Posted: 9:15 AM 2/14/09 | More of this author on eK!