Wednesday, November 3, 2010

HONNETS (August 30, 2010)

It was born Sonetto in Italy.

This “little song” or “little sound” would eventually make wave as Sonnet and Soneto.

Then it would travel far and wide from the Italian rhyme scheme of abba abba (or the Sicilian abab abab cdc dcd, abab abab cde cde, and 12121212 343434 with each number representing a word or the Sonetto Rispetto and Ottava Rima Octave's abab abcc to go with the de Lentinian version of cde cde or cdc cdc).

Just to draw oles from the Spanish abba abba cdcdcd .

Or ooh-lalas from the French abba abba cc dccd, abba abba cc dede or abba abba cc deed.

Or oohs and aahs from the British dede, to name a few.

Once sucked in, nobody could stop a Gerard Manley Hopkins to be obsessed with its abba abba cdc dcd and abc abc dbc dc or a Sir Thomas Wyatt with its abba abba cdd cee or a John Milton with its abba abba cde cde eff egg or a William Wordsworth with its abba acca dede ff or a Charles Tennyson-Turner with its abab cdcd effe fe or a Frederick Goddard Tuckerman with its abba bcab adeced or a Peter Schupan with its abccba deffed gg or a John Dee with itsaabb aabb bcbcbc.

More often than not, it would leave a mark as in Shakespearean (abab cdcd efef gg) or Spenserian (abab bcbc cdcd ee) or Pushkinian (AbAb CCdd Eff Egg or abab ccdd eff egg) or Shellyesque (abab acdc edefef).

Until it would reach our native shore and soil.

Even Apolinario Mabini's paralysis could not stop him from making his poetics sublime, as well, in abb acc aa dda eea.

Fernando Maramág had no particular pattern yet his Moonlight on Manila Bay (1912) is enough to represent a period in literary history, inspiring poet Dr.Gemino Abad to use his famous line in his collection of critical essays -- about poetry in English anthology from 1905 to 1955 -- entitled Our Scene So Fair (2009).

Trinidad Tarrosa-Subido, too, began taking after Edna St. Vincent Millay whose Collected Sonnets was published in 1941, the same year Jose Garcia Villa's Poems of Doveglion got off the press.

Understandably, she was not the only one who could escape from the influence of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet XLIII was composed in 1845, when she was still being courted by a younger poet, Robert Browning.

To this day, nobody can readily recognize Barrett Browning's Sonnets From the Portuguese but when one would hear her first line -- How Do I Love Thee? -- surely he or she would get the same reason why Tarrosa-Subido would concentrate more on light verses, written and revised in her head.

An artsakist who would become National Artist for Literature in 1973 -- Garcia Villa,of course – would experiment as early as 1942 in, say, Have Come, Am Here with the classic -- The Emperor’s New Sonnet -- with nothing but the title.

No one, as in no one, followed him in the road less travelled, so to speak.

Except for a mannaniw from Ilocos Norte -- Honor Blanco Cabie.

He outdid himself when he published his Beyond Images: Selected 100 Sonnets.

Now, after 18 years, he is at it again.

Yes, he has a title for his 11th collection from different periods.

He calls it Rhymes and Roses.

I call it – all – in his honor.

As Honor's Sonnets.

In short, Honnets.

It may not follow the teachings of The Church of Latter-Day Sonneteers, for instance, having adopted icons of their own: the Germanic abba bccb cddc dd or the Irish abab bcbc cdcd dd or the New Zealander abab bbcc cdcd ee or the Australian abab ccdd efef gg or the Canadian abba cddc effe gg and abba cddc eff egg or the Japanese aaaa bbbbbb aaaa or the Korean aaaaaaa bbbbbbb or the Melanesian aaba aaba aaba bb or the Malayan aaba bbcb ccdc dd andaaba bbcb ccdc dd dee eff or the Polynesian aaxa bbxb ccxc dd or the Indo-Chinese abab abab abab ab or the Southeast Asian aaaa aaaa aaaa aa or the Arabian aaaa bbbb ccc ddd and AaAa BBbb Ccc Ddd or the American xxxx xxxx xxxx xx and xxxx xxxx xxxx xx, courtesy of Merrill Moore, that probably justifies all the x since he is a psychiatrist!

But, the test of the rhyming is in the writing. And reciting?

Not all poets from Ilocos are as gifted as him with a pedigree.

Having a poet for a father and a violinist for a mother he indeed is honored.

A penpusher and a public speaker, he had been invited to serve as director of the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) from 1993 to 2001; first president to be directly re-elected by the general membership of GUMlL Filipinas from 1995 to 1999; and executive council member of National Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts. Since 1987, he has been a professor of literature and mass communication as well as a lecturer in journalism seminars and writing workshops including the University of the Philippines Creative Writing Workshop in Baguio City in 1997. He was proclaimed in 1992 the Outstanding Alumnus of San Beda College where he finished his journalism degree. All with flying colors even in his career as an essayist, journalist, musician, and singer who has holds both Master's in journalism and a Master's in media management from the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. What is amazing and amusing in this award-winning poet -- who placed first in the 16th World Congress of Poets in 2000 – is that he can still find time. As an incurable sonneteer, he summed it all up via his Sonnet # 6010, written on 20 July 2003:

i would have thought that on my day off, on

my rest day, a cozy jacket i would don.

And take note, this is just one of the many jackets he has worn, a mere iota of the

poetic truth he has been telling since he started writing sonnets in November of 1964.

Yes, he began “sonneting” or “sonnetizing” when we were just an 11 month-old baby!

Anyway, tonight at 7, you have the rare opportunity of meeting Honor Blanco Cabie personally during the soft launch of his book at Rock Drilon's Mag:Net Gallery in Katipunan. This is O.M.G. Open Mic Gig's special edition. For one, today is Gunglo Dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano Iti Filipinas, Inc. GUMIL will be performing live with veteran writers, from A to Z (Ric Agnes, Juan S.P. Hidalgo, Jr. and Dr. Paul Zafaralla) plus Linda Bulong, AidaTiama, Jovito Amorin, Benn Cabacungan, Leo Fagaragan, Noli Dumlao and Rudy Contillo. They will be joined by younger writers including Ariel Tabag and Sherma Benosa, Mighty Rasing, Dexter Biz, and Jake Ilac. Agnes is this year’s recipient of UMPIL’s Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Francisco Balagtas – just like Hidalgo and Zafaralla. The group will perform various poetry forms in Ilocano, including dallot, pangorona a daniw (coronation poetry), daniw a para radio (poetry for radio), daniw a para ubbing (poetry for children), and daniw iti parparaangan. Dallot is an Ilocano poetry form that narrates a folklore or epic, such as Biag ni Lam-ang.This form is also used in pamamanhikan.

Sadly, tomorrow might be Mag:Net Gallery's last day in Katipunan. So expect O.M.G. Open Mic Gig to go fullblast under the fullmoon. For details, kindly call #9293191.


Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or
handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service.
Wet your whistle is the phrase inspired by this practice.


God operates on a perfectly designed timeline. He knows what you need and when to provide it.

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