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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Monday, April 20, 2009

EARLY POEMS 1: ANOTHER LOVE POEM


When University of Santo Tomas Publishing Director John Wigley suggested that I add more poems to A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems so my 2009 selection won't look like a "manual", I thanked him for his remark that being "one of the big names in Philipine poetry (I know, I also teach Literature)", I should really come out with a bigger volume. I said I will send him some that "would no longer embarrass me". One of those was an "early poem", which turns out to be a "love poem" (those which I avowedly said in this blog are "difficult" to write.). It looks like I wrote more of them than I thought I could or would shudder about if attributed back to me.


This "early poem" is early, all right. It goes back to Adam and Eve.




The Final Temptation

…and from his rib sprung Eve to ease his loneliness.
--Sunday school tale.


Adam names grass whatever they may be,
but does he feel their caress on the navel gently
pressed where pressed they ought not
on afternoons like this? This afternoon is hot.
Blue skies have virtues all their own seen through leaves.
O, blue skies, what new birds bring you? What eves
bring you when evenings are soft wind on my cheek?
Twitter of unnamed birds, tremor of eel in some creek?
If I only knew what Adam is abroad about all day,
I would not ask you, black boughs, which way
To Adam, O which way? Afternoons darken
Like this and soon it will rain.
He will have new tales tonight. I know that;
But that tale about the Tree, I will get him tell me again.



At Sunday school (I attended a Lutheran Church's outreach mission where an aunt taught), Adam and Eve was our first lesson. Eve seemed to have been blamed for their expulsion from Paradise (hence, Paradise Lost), because she bit of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.


In hindsight, now that Sunday School is a century away from where I am now "protected from dottage", I agree with the Feminist Movement and the women-libbers that the female of the species is truly the spunky one.


The First Temptation is truly the Final Temptation. Man will never be the same again. She was not a rib; she was the Creator's finer creation. Wherever she makes her move, Paradise is always regained!


Sunday school should have emphasized that had it not been for Eve, we would not have the Information Age paradigm: Knowledge is Power.


So, where does the expression "carnal knowledge" come from?

1 comment:

George said...

Interesting post... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your blog. I'm sure I'd visit here more often. George from love poem.