WRITING ABOUT FEMININITY AND WOMEN’S EXPERIENCE – Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta, the most adored poet in the Philippines

Fascinated by the unbearable lightness of the verses

She spent more than half of her life teaching and creating literary works characterized by femininity and the experience of women. In 1999, she had the S.E.A. Award for writing, Southeast Asia’s highest literary honor. Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta https://www.nlb.gov.sg/biblio/9424478 was born on a June day in 1932 in San Juan (Rizal, Philippine Islands). You are a poet, editor and teacher, you have not only published books of poetry and prose, but you have even edited literary anthologies. In addition to her most famous work, Montage, she has published Ophelia as well as Anthology of Philippine Contemporary Literature. In sober and delicate lines, she described the murder of truth in a country that lived with lies. Like clouds of nasty smoke, the ensemble of police investigations that intertwined with court hearings generated those lies.

WE ARE SUPREME – We fritter away in little rites, simulating joy and becoming, ecstatically alive extracting lastminute beginnings from each. Dying spasm and squeezing them into everywhere and while there is breathing space and time.

She spent much of her life searching for what was lost, as well as the causes of losing and finding. Her poetry does not speak of missing objects, but of the life of the people who pursue the ephemeral communications of modern life. Founding member and president of the Manila Critics Circle, he has published seven books of poetry, one on drama, one on criticism and one on prose. Trained as a concert pianist, Ofelia Alcantara Dimalanta https://www.facebook.com/opheliaalcantaradimalanta/ holds a bachelor’s, masters and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas. Focusing her intellectual curiosity on poetry, in 1974, she came to publish her first collection: Montage. Her poetry invites us to look at ourselves again, but with humor. She wants us to vacate it slightly, as if we were birds. With her verses, she wanted to talk to us about the horror of moral and spiritual infirmities that were camouflage between celebrations and official speeches.

POETIC HUMAN TRANSACTION – I write to you, you read me, in the most distant strangeness, under the skin and within it, blind lovers clinging to the signs. More felt and finger-shaped than seen, like us invisibly. Connection, collision and collusion, transfer and transport, clear, dream, drift and dance. Our mutual paths, strangers, taken by the swoon of song.

We wish to continue to remember her, but we choose to do it with her words: Flow in, flow, fly away where the beginning is the end, soon simply saying exit towards. In a world of people blind to globalization, she was horrifi by insincerity, which she regarded as a prelude to slavery. With her words in verse, she described what was happening in a country that forgot the inalienable value of morality. Among other things, she was a judge of literary awards for the free press of the Philippines, which, together with the teaching, influenced generations of creative writers in her country. Until her death, Ofelia Alcantara Dimalanta https://panitikan.ph/2014/06/06/ophelia-alcantara-dimalanta/ was full professor of literature and creative writing at the UST Graduate School and the Faculty of Letters, among other things holding the position of Dean of the Faculty of Arts. She lived with her family in Navotas, dying there one day in November 2010.

REQUIEM FOR A DYING POET – Soon you will finally lay to rest this poet dying, of a broken quill for already. In the heart of the hearth of his mind no longer fire, but ashes flick about randomly. For he has already been consigned to the ignominy of little moments, shifting along margins of experience. Feet lagging behind senses and senses dragged behind his will, ready to go. To be puffed out, like a guttering candle. He is finally dying well unto his death. Panic coming easy now, afraid to trip lest he breaks his leg. To love lest his ligaments tear, deaf to sounds darkness makes upon an inner centering; sad that life has settled into a dreadful, cold, cold calm, a scurry of little. Needs, faceless minutiae and timorous appeasements and upheavals, as skies have become. Too timid to dip riverward and clouds afraid to gather into a storm, baring but slightly one part, touching but gingerly, surfing. Nets of cursory interactives, bios anonymous, no collision of parts to ignite a blinding, no line, nor loins burning, no treads on. Grounds plundered into one cataclysmic shaking. No flames charring this limp wood into possible deep limning. The poet as petite is dead. Long live poetry.

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