Philippine Poetry
And If the Heart Can Not Love
By Jose Garcia Villa

And if the heart can not love
death can not cure it nor sleep
no splendor of wound the heart
had no sound

Bloom has escaped it and
birth the miraculous flower
and music and speech leave
it unbewitched

God it can not spell nor sun
nor lover the beautiful word
and it has no sound no sound
nor wound


First, A Poem Must Be Magical
By Jose Garcia Villa

First, a poem must be magical,
Then musical as a seagull.
It must be a brightness moving
And hold secret a bird’s flowering
It must be slender as a bell,
And it must hold fire as well.
It must have the wisdom of bows
And it must kneel like a rose.
It must be able to hear
The luminance of dove and deer.
It must be able to hide
What it seeks, like a bride.
And over all I would like to hover
God, smiling from the poem’s cover.


When I Was No Bigger Than A Huge
By Jose Garcia Villa

When, I, was, no, bigger, than, a, huge,
Star, in, my, self, I, began, to, write,
My,
Theology,
Of, rose, and,

Tiger: till, I, burned, with, their
Pure, and, Rage. Then, was, I, Wrath-
Ful,
And, most,
Gentle: most,

Dark, and, yet, most, Lit: in, me, an,
Eye, there, grew: springing, Vision,
Its,
Gold, and,
Its, wars. Then,

I, knew, the, Lord, was, not, my, Creator!
--Not, He, the, Unbegotten—but, I, saw,
The,
Creator,
Was, I—and,

I, began, to, Die, and, I, began, to, Grow.