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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, October 17, 2011



By Albert B. Casuga

Far away, farther than the sights of a bird perched on some craggy roost, I follow her every move in the falling-down house: my lips touching the rim of her coffee cup, my fingers opening and closing on the shapes of bread and cheese and fruit I want to heap upon her plate; the rings of silver and gold and pearl I want to slide back, lovingly, upon those thin, arthritic fingers which once sewed every seam of my world neatly into place. --- From “Aerogramme” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 10-16-11

(Español, versión original)

(Para mi Madre)

Los pajaritos
están dejando su nido;
el invierno de su vida ha venido
tan muy temprano!

Madre mia. ¡Mira! ¡Mira!

Tan fuerte ahora, sus pájaros
están volando a puertas desconocidas;
están volando tan lejos para que
nunca jamas devolver y quedar en la casa
corazón triste, ahora casa abandonada,
nido desolado, madre mia.
O mi madre querida!

(Ilocano Version)

(Para ken ni Nanang ko)

Pinanawan dan ti umokda,
nagtayab da aminen;
kasla ti naapa unay nga
isasangpet iti lam-ek ken
panag-uyos ti biag.

Kitaem man, Nanang! Kitaem!

Napigsadan dagiti bil-lit;
pimmanawdan --- agtaytayab da
payen nga agturong iti saan nga
ammo nga pagkamangan ---
adayo dan, adayo unay iti
pinagtayabanda tapno saan dan
nga agsubli sadiay umok
nga pinanawanda --- balay kano
iti naled-daang nga puso,
napanawan ken ub-baw nga biag,
umok kan iti angin-nen.

Ay, Nanang! Inak nga dungdungwen!

(Filipino version)

(Para kay Inang)

Nagliparan na ang mga ibon,
at iniwanan na ang kanilang pugad,
tulad ng maagang pagdating
ng tag-lamig sa iyong buhay.

Tignan ninyo, Inang! Masdan ninyo!

Malalakas na ang mga ibong kamakaila’y
sisiw pa lamang --- sila’y nagliparan na
patungong kung saang isang dipang langit
at di malamang malayong sulok
upang di na muling magbalik sa pugad
ng kalungkutan, pugad na nilisan,
isang bahay na wala nang laman.

O Inang. Pinakamamahal kong Ina!

(English version)

(For my Mother)

The birds are leaving their nest;
quite like an early winter that arrives
too soon proroguing your quest.

Look at them, Mother! Look!

Now grown strong, these agile birds
are flying to unknown havens,
far-flung places, never ever
to return or stay in a house
of gloom, an abandoned home,
a desolate nest. O my mother.

O my dear, mother!

--- Albert B. Casuga
Revised 10-16-11

1 comment:

Danny said...

Although written in four languages, each version has a unique phenomenological and linguistic experience with its own unique tonal value, texture, and imagery.