Loving is going beyond the self.The poem sends the message that romantic intimacy especially among young lovers is not simple, for the need to love and be loved is a basic human need that challenges maturity and a person’s greatest hopes.
Often, misunderstanding happens.The way to bridge the gap of misunderstanding is to talk, listen, be crazy— but only if the person is great enough to long for or to die for. It is better to be mad with love than to be wise alone.
The poem was penned by Rolando Carbonell, a Filipino teacher of Philippine poetry and needless to say, a favorite among young Filipino students. It was dedicated to Tita Duran, one of the most beautiful if not the most beautiful actress of Philippine movies in her time. Ms. Duran was married to handsome and very talented actor Pancho Magalona with whom she had a lifetime relationship. She was mother to actor and Philippine “Rapper King” Francis Magalona. The Magalonas are deceased.
The way to read Carbonell’s work is to allow the text to exist by itself, not to search for romantic undertones between actress and fan. Any effort to understand it in biographical context would be an interpretive betrayal or a misadventure into dreamland because there was only a movie star-fan relationship.
For a moment I thought I could forget you.
For a moment I thought I could still the restlessness in my heart.
I thought the past could no longer haunt me.
How wrong I was!
For the past, no matter how distant, is as much a part of me as life itself,
And you are a part of that life.
You are so much a part of me-
Of my dreams, my early hopes, my youth, and my ambitions—
That in all my tasks I can’t help remembering you.
Many little delights remind me of you.
Yes, I came.
And would my pride mock my real feelings?
Would the love song, the sweet and lovely smile on your face
Be lost among the deepening shadows?
I have wanted to be alone.
I thought I could make myself forget you in silence and in song.
And yet I remembered.
For who could forget the memory
Of the once lovely, the once happy world such as ours?
I came because the song that I kept through the years is waiting to be sung.
I cannot sing it without you.
The song when sung alone will lose the essence of its tune
Because you and I have been one!
I have wanted the misery to end, because it is part of my restlessness.
Can’t you understand?
Can’t you divine the depth and the tenderness of my feelings towards you?
Yes, can’t you see how I suffer in this even darkness without you?
You went away because you mistook my silence for indifference,
But silence my dear is the language of my heart.
How could I essay the intensity of my love when silence speaks a more eloquent tone?
But perhaps you didn’t understand.
Remember I came because the gnawing loneliness is there
And will not be lost until the music is sung,
Until the poem is heard,
Until the silence is understood…
Until you come to me again.
For you alone can blend music and memory into one consuming ecstasy.
You alone. ###
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