Doveglion: Collected Poems
José Garcia Villa
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The centennial edition of major Filipino writer José Garcia Villa's collected poetry
Known as the "Pope of Greenwich Village," José Garcia Villa had a special status as the only Asian poet among a group of modern literary giants in 1940s New York that included W. H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, and a young Gore Vidal. But beyond his exotic ethnicity, Villa was a global poet who was admired for "the reverence, the raptness, the depth of concentration in [his] bravely deep poems" (Marianne Moore). Doveglion (Villa's pen name for dove, eagle, and lion) contains Villa's collected poetry, including rare and previously unpublished material.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
few Or none ever may know: I reached that glow! Fevered to the bright, grand Temperature, lo! His princely hand Smote the lance of my mind: “Not by the mind, O Blind!” 106 God not looking, sudden I gripped His heart: Cleft it in twain—division Swift and alert, Cision by the deft hand, His Godhead’s clue Finally to unwand As the mind’s long due. Immortal tissue riven, Yet shrank I not; But bent the mouth brazen To the bleeding cut. Ah, His secret was not fair, O but so bitter!
spirit’s own! Bend O bend to my urgency. Be the Great Imaginer. Imagine me Yourself tri-solved: O believe in Mortality. A NOTE ON REVERSED CONSONANCE The author is pleased to introduce in this book a new method of rhyming, a method which has never been used in the history of English poetry, nor in any poetry. This method is used in poems 1, 4, 9, 12, 16, 45, and 47. The principle involved is that of reversed consonance. The last sounded consonants of the last syllable, or the last principal
Yet,though,it, Were,not,lost, It,is,of,Cost,irredeem- able,by,Because— Because,is, Dead: a,dead, Hand,clasping, The,Cause! I,burned,all, Becauses,till, Sternly,I, Uprose: A,Pure, And,this,was, Rebellion: God,at,last, On,His,buckling, Stallion! 134 When,I,was,no,bigger,than,a,huge, Star,in,my,self,I,began,to,write, My, Theology, Of,rose,and, Tiger: till,I,burned,with,their, Pure,and,Rage. Then,was,I,Wrath- Ful, And,most, Gentle: most, Dark,and,yet,most,Lit: in,me,an,
not far Nor your hand. This being so Love me well, love me well. Because what Love is I saw. I saw Love well: Love tied a bell To your heart. Love said, Kiss Him and let your heart ring. And this is the thing. 242 Poems for an Unhumble One I But the leaves and you are proud— so no. It is summer now and did they have you. So then when and if you can. And a rose was bought: it was as never and as still. The doves came: they too were proud. The cherries and the bees: but
occasion when the poet did speak of his father, it was always with considerable vitriol. I once asked Villa about the patriarch, whereupon he replied, “If I were to visit his grave, it would only be to spit on it!” Villa’s success in the metropolitan center—that of his country’s colonizer, no less—elevated further his stature back home, to Olympian proportions. His contemporary, the writer Salvador P. Lopez, described the poet as “the one Filipino writer today who it would be futile to deride