Language of my blood26 February 2009 at 4:28 AM | Posted in News | 3 Comments
Here is the first part of the poem “Muted Cry” (late 1930s) by Philippine poet Trinidad Tarrosa-Subido:
They took away the language of my blood,
giving me one “more widely understood.”
More widely understood! Now Lips can never
Never with the Soul-in-Me commune:
Moments there are I strain, but futile ever,
To flute my feelings through some native Tune…
Alas, how can I interpret my Mood?
They took away the language of my blood.
If I could speak the language of my blood
My blood would whirl up through resistless space
Swiftly – sure – flight no one can retrace,
And flung against the skyey breast of God,
Its scattered words, charged with passion rare,
With trebel glow would dim the stars now there.
This is a poet’s (not a critic’s) argument for writing in one’s mother tongue, but since it is written in a second language, it is also an argument for writing in a stepmother tongue!