My photo
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.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Poem #7 for National Poetry Month (NaPoMo, April) responds to the big question: What do we know? Virtual Realities and Valuable Authorities.* (What is knowledge? Do we know what we know? How do we know what we know is the truth? Do we need to go through the rigours of epistemology?)


Giving up on giving up is a better choice,
when being sensible and clear are futile.
Words would lose meaning, ours will not.

Where you see a vine leading its tendrils
up to a broken branch shedding a last leaf,
you make me see its undulant plummet

to the parched pond mottled by blackened
and brittle leaves long dead even before
the end of this long hot summer. It is real.

Is this not our faultless way of knowing
what we pretend to know when we can
no longer see the dancer from the dance?

Would not the falling of that lonely leaf
trace the slower climb of a clinging vine?
Like seeing both sides of the wall at once.


*To celebrate this Poetry Month, we thought of collecting a series of poems that would respond to these Big Questions posited by Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, in his book The Big Questions Philosophy, 2009, Quercus Publishing Plc, London, UK. pp.38-47. He says about knowing: "...we need our confidence to match what happens. That is the gold standard for knowledge and truth alike." (Ibid, pg.47)
Painting: Adam and Eve in Paradise by Ian Brueghel the Elder.
(The apple from the Tree of Knowledge? What does that mean?)


Hannah Stephenson said...

I love that "both sides of the wall" good! This IS a big question....I love poetry that chases philosophy!


Thank you my poet friend! You do have the same pitch in most of your poems. Love them, aussi.