Gemino Abad

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Gemino Abad Poems


Now our boys have such toys
as my brother and I never dreamed;
Did the same spirit stir our make-believe?
Yet outdoor was where we took its measure.

As soon as it gets dark, I turn on the lights
in my old professor’s cottage, and the following
morning before office, turn them off again.
With one key I open the iron gate, and with two,

I’m vexed with myself tonight
that I, fitful tiller of words,
cannot write you a poem,
warm as your ironing-board,

Dear Davie, Dear Diego
I am on an island called Oahu.
Here there are many white people, they are called Haules.
There are also Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos.

Gemino Abad Biography

Gémino Henson Abad is a poet and critic from Cebu, Philippines. His family moved to Manila when his father, Antonio Abad, was offered professorships at Far Eastern University and the University of the Philippines. He earned his B.A. English from the University of the Philippines in 1964 and Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Chicago in 1970. He served the University of the Philippines in various capacities: as Secretary of the University, Secretary of the Board of Regents, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing. For many years, he also taught English, comparative literature and creative writing at U.P. Diliman. Abad co-founded the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) which published Caracoa, a poetry journal in English. His other works include Fugitive Emphasis (poems, 1973); In Another Light (poems and critical essays, 1976); A Formal Approach to Lyric Poetry (critical theory, 1978); The Space Between (poems and critical essays, 1985); Poems and Parables (1988); Index to Filipino Poetry in English, 1905-1950 (with Edna Zapanta Manlapaz, 1988) and State of Play (letter-essays and parables, 1990). He edited landmark anthologies of Filipino poetry in English, among them Man of Earth (1989), A Native Clearing (1993) and A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English, ‘60s to the ‘90s (1999). The University of the Philippines has elevated Abad to the rank of University Professor, the highest academic rank awarded by the university to an exemplary faculty member. He currently sits on the Board of Advisers of the U.P. Institute of Creative Writing and teaches creative writing as Emeritus University Professor at the College of Arts and Letters, U.P. Diliman. In 2009, he became the first Filipino to receive the coveted Premio Feronia in Rome, Italy under the foreign author category. Awards, Prizes and Fellowships University Professorship, University of the Philippines Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair, University of the Philippines Henry Lee Irwin Professorial Chair in Creative Writing, Ateneo de Manila University Rockefeller Fellowship, University of Chicago Visiting Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa Visiting Professor, Saint Norbert College, Wisconsin Visiting Professor, Singapore Management University International Writing Program Fellowship, University of Iowa British Council Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford U.P. Outstanding Faculty Award U.P. Distinguished Alumnus in Literature Ellen F. Fajardo Foundation Grant for Excellence in Teaching U.P. Gawad Chancellor Best Literary Work Palanca Awards for Poetry Philippines Free Press Awards for Literature Cultural Center of the Philippines Award for Poetry National Book Awards from the Manila Critics' Circle Asian Catholic Publishers Inc. Catholic Authors Award Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas from Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas (UMPIL) Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan in Literature from the City of Manila Premio Feronia, Foreign Author, 2009)

The Best Poem Of Gemino Abad


Now our boys have such toys
as my brother and I never dreamed;
Did the same spirit stir our make-believe?
Yet outdoor was where we took its measure.

But how could I wish it were otherwise
for them, and would it be wise
since other kids inhabit the same quarry
where X-men wage their fantastic wars?

Indeed we knew the hot spill of blood,
with slingshots searched the bushes and trees,
but also knew ourselves pierced
where the world’s songs first were made.

But those video games, those robots,
armaments of glory, sirens of terror,
must root their eyes in our politics
and scavenge for hope in the world’s rubble.

Something’s amiss, or toys perhaps
have changed their meaning.
In the overflood of their kind,
they’ve lost their round of seasons.

It may be the same with the world’s
weather, but in our time,
there was one season for kites
when the wind seemed to make the sky rounder;

There was another, for marbles and rubber bands,
the earth firmer, the blaze of sunshine brighter;
and yet another, for tops and wheels,
as streetwise we vied for dusty prizes.

And when the rains came,
and the skies fell with the thunderclap,
how we would run in drenched nakedness
to dare a lightning race to the edge of time.

But how shall I travel to my boys’ heart
and break their dreadnought of heroes,
and find, as when light breaks,
the pieces of their manhood whole?

O, their heroes create them,
but if they could invent their games
and stage their future, might they not
surprise the hero with their fate?

Gemino Abad Comments

Gemino Abad Popularity

Gemino Abad Popularity

Error Success