A collection of Cebuano poems by MICHAEL U. OBENIETA
Sa Pagbalik Sa Imong Pagbalak
(kang Ester Tapia, sa iyang pagbalhin sa Germany)
Gikawhat tingali sa iring sungkaban, lakip sa tinipigang inun-unan ug buwad- pinikas, ang kasingkasing sa among silingang byuda nga patuya’g pamalikas bisa’g sayo sa buntag. Tingali, tibuok gabii siyang galimbag-limbag, natun-ogan sa inagulo’g inalisngaw sa iyang kamingaw.
Gisakdapan sa hangin ang mansanitas sa among tugkaran, ug nagkamuritsing ang tingog sa mga ligoy nga tagbaw’g tyabaw dihang ang ilang tabanog gilamoy sa huyohoy.
Duna ba’y uwak nga nagsakdap-sakdap diha karon sa imong halayong lawak? Maayo unta’g wala ka hutoya samtang gipukaw ka sa katugnaw ug giaghat sa nagabhiang hangin sa pagtambo sa bintanang bantang sa kawanangan ug sa kahaw-ang sa mabdos nga buwan (gilumsan sa gilay-on sa gabalud nga panganod) nga kanhi kanunay mong gidamgong usa ka sakayan, naglutaw tadlas sa kaadlawon, lahos sa mga sapa-sapa sa Kanlaon diin gipanamkon sa bulkan ang imong mga pulong ug ang putol sa imong pusod gilubong, didto diin nagsugod ang imong tingog. Diin ang imong singot ug sip-on nitubod sa taman nimong higop og utan- bisaya, diin nahilos ang imong ngabil dihang gadimdim sa ginamos ug dayok nga namuwak og siling kulikot.
Diha karon, hinaut padayon nimong matilawan ug sa gihapon masuta bisan humana ang orasyon: ang halok ug hunghong sa tiki ngadto sa yuta.
"Iring-iring sa Tingbitay sa Iro" (recipient, Ubod Writers Grant of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts)
APIL SA ANTOLOHIYA
"The Poem & The World" (University of Washington Press)
"Kapulongan: Conversation with Cebuano Writers (published by Sunflower Press and the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)
BALHIBOON NGA TULOMANON
"Reimmersion (in native culture) is not an end in itself; it is to define more clearly the native grounds on which the Cebuano poet stands, the local parameters of language and experience, toward the end that he can stand in the world confident in the singular value of his own voice...To conserve and extend the resources to which the Cebuano poet is heir by enhancing the natural rhythms of native speech, cultivating the rich concreteness of dialect, and confronting the particulars of his social experience...
The Cebuano poet today does not come upon a language that is already there, ready to use; he has to recreate it not only out of the rawness of daily speech but summon out of language that which has already fallen away from common consciousness and use."
-- Dr. Resil Mojares, "Cebuano Poetry: Looking Backward, Forward."
TAGO-LILONG NGA TUGPAHANAN
PADULONG SA PANGANOD SA ILANG MGA PULONG
"What could I say at all without my roots?... What could I say without coming to ground?... and I took no journey other than the return." - Pablo Neruda
"And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time." - T.S. Eliot
"The work of language deserves our greatest care, for the tongue’s fire may devour the world, or may light the way." - Scott Russell Sanders
“Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the wombs of the mother tongue.” - Ursula K. Le Guin
"Memory that yearns to join the centre, a limb remembering the body from which it has been severed, like those bamboo thighs of the god… The personal vocabulary, the individual melody whose metre is one's biography, joins in that sound, with any luck, and the body moves like a walking, a waking island." - Derek Walcott
"We ascend, from the infinite pit of our perceptions, to the finite life of words." - William Bronk
"The mission of poetry is to create among people the possibility of wonder, admiration, mystery, the sense that life is marvelous... To make life a marvel--that is the role of poetry." - Octavio Paz
"Poetry has a great digestive system and can consume and recycle almost anything. It's the poet's persona that gives meaning to the process. The first important act of the imagination is to create the person who will write the poems. And that's not the end of it. We have to invent and reinvent who we are until we arrive at the self we can bear to live with and die with. Art demands of the artist the capacity for self-renewal. Without it, art withers. And so does the life." - Stanley Kunitz
"Poetry can bring together those parts of us which exist in dread and those which have the surviving sense of a possible happiness, collectivity, community, a loss of isolation." - Adrienne Rich
"By making us stop for the moment, poetry gives us an opportunity to think about ourselves as human beings on this planet and what we mean to each other." - Rita Dove
"Poetry gives us revelations, flashes, which illuminate those things which were mysterious to us." - Victor Hernandez Cruz