M. DE GRACIA CONCEPCION: PHILIPPINE AMERICAN WRITER

 

POEMS BY M. DE GRACIA CONCEPCION

 

SHADOW

A shadow pushed the door-bell
and the bell was terrified
in cold reverberations, --
strange it seems for a noon-day dream.
But I opened the door
and intently searched the threshold
for the likely visitor --
but strange it seems
that the visitor was I --
the other self of me
that died.

 

CHIMERAS

THIS - in the City of Chimeras.

Beyond the fringes of its throbbing life, one

hears the singing and the beating of one mighty

ocean - and the heart aches to hear its songs - for

they are as invitations to some undreamed of coun-

try, and the Will could always hold the Soul to its

power: "stay, stay in this City of Grotesque

Dreams."

Other voices there are that one hears on a

noon-day, or when the sun has set, or when the

moon placidly sails the Milky Way, and silent as

the tombs are the hills.

 

"DO not go," the Will is heard repeating its

exhortation to the doubtful Soul, wearied and

looking weirdly in the eyes like a madman," it is

a siren singing your doom in the depth of the sea;

it is a dryad calling you from the groves upon

the hills."

 

THIS - in the City of Chimeras.

Beyond the fringes of its throbbing life, one

hears the singing of the sea.

"It seems that I could hear there," the Soul

is wistfully mumurring, "it seems that I could

hear there the lost songs of my youth."

 

AND from the hill at noon-day or when the

sun has set, or when the moon limpidly sails

across the Milky Way . . . . and silent . . . . as the

tombs . . . are the hills . . . . a voice is heard calling,

calling . . . .

"It seems that I could see there," the Soul

is wistfully lisping to the breeze, "it seems that

I could see there the lost dreams of my youth."

"Let me go!" cries the Soul impetuously,

"let me go the sea and the hills."

And the Soul like a white-winged bird flew.

 

NOTES: These poems first appeared in Marcelo De Gracia Concepcion's book of poetry, Bamboo Flute, published in 1932. M. de Gracia Concepcion's first book of poems, Azucena, was published in the U.S. in 1925. Azucena, reportedly the first book of poetry by a Filipino poet published in the U.S. received critical acclaim. "Throughout, 'Azucena' is a strain of melancholy nostalgia, the cry of an exiled artist," wrote the Chicago Evening Post. "Unquestionably, he has true poetic feeling, he has ardor and intensity, and at the same time a restraint which is wholly Latin, something quite different from the restraint of an Anglo-Saxon writer," wrote the Hartford Courant. After living in the U.S., M. de Gracia Concepcion's returned to the Philippines where he wrote books and ran a bookshop. .

(Poems, pictures courtesy of C. Brainard)

 


BOOKSHOP

PALH Home/Online Inventory/Order/Links

  E-mail questions/comments to PALH@aol.com
This page courtsesy of Philippine American Literary House