Trinidad Tarrosa-Subido Oct 10, 2008 16:05:07 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 16:05:07 GMT 2
Trinidad Tarrosa-Subido was born in Shanghai, where her father worked as a musician. After her father's death, she and her mother returned to Manila in 1917. She graduated from Manila East High School, and in 1929, she took the civil service examination in order to work in the Bureau of Education, and passed it with a grade of 97 percent, the highest then on record. She enrolled as a working student at the University of the Philippines at Padre Faura (commonly known as UP Manila) in 1932 and met her husband Abelardo Subido. She became a member of the UP Writers Club and contributed her sonnets.
She married in 1936 and graduated magna cum laude the following year. She then began to work at the Institute of National Language. In 1940, she published Tagalog Phonetics and Orthography, which she co-authored with Virginia Gamboa-Mendoza. In 1945, she and her husband published poems titled Two Voices, with an introduction by Salvador P. Lopez.
After the war, the Subidos put up a daily newspaper, The Manila Post, which closed in 1947 and made her a freelance writer. She then became editor of Kislap-Graphic and Philippine Home Economics Journal.
She retired in 1971, and in 1984, she was invited by the Women in Media Now to write the introduction to Filipina I, the first anthology consisting of works made exclusively by Filipino women. She was honored in 1991 by the Unyon ng Mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL).
She died in 1994.
In 2002, her family published a manuscript Tarrosa-Subido had been working on at the time of her death. Titled Private Edition: Sonnets and Other Poems (Milestone Publication), the retrospective volume contains 89 poems, a few of them revised and retitled versions of the originals.
Retrieved from tinyurl.com/5m4umq
They took away the language of my blood,
giving me one "more widely understood."
More widely understood! Now Lips can never
Never with the Soul-in-Me commune:
Moments there are I strain, but futile ever,
To flute my feelings through some native Tune...
Alas, how can I interpret my Mood?
They took away the language of my blood.
If I could speak the language of my blood
My blood would whirl up through resistless space
Swiftly - sure - flight no one can retrace,
And flung against the skyey breast of God,
Its scattered words, charged with passion rare,
With trebel glow would dim the stars now there.
Shakespeare, Dante, Sappho, and the rest,
They who are now poets deified,
Never their language being them denied,
Their moods could be felicitous expressed-
Crimson of joy, purple of grief,
Grey of unrest, white of relief -
Their dreams so colored, living forms they seem,
The real lent enchantment like some faery-dream.
If I could speak the language of my blood,
My feet would trace the path their feet have trod,
And stake a a niche within their lot of Fame,
Of jade-and-gold, and carve me there a name.
Ah, could I speak the language of my blood,
I, too would free the poetry in me.
And this now apathetic world would be
Awakened, startled at the silver flood
Of Song, my sould aptly expressing,
Each flood-ntoe listeners impressing.
More as the water-drop into a pearl congealed
Than as a ripple on the ocean's breast revealed.
These words I speak are out of pitch with Me!
That other Voice? - Cease longing to be free!
How can't thou speak who hast affinity
Only with promised-but-unflowered days,
Only with ill-conceived eternity,
Being, as they, mere space lost unto Space?
Forever shalt thou cry, a muted god:
"Could I but speak the language of my blood!"
"They Tell Me, Love"
They tell me, Love, prose is more precise
To speak the soul of an enamored maid,
And ask me why I choose to lyricize
My feelings to the very subtlest shade.
I could explain… but will they understand
How much a secret thing the Reason is?
Like why I’m pliant only in your hand,
And when I thirst, turn only to your kiss.
Thou knowest it is thus: when I create
Verses none else can dedicate to thee,
I feel I do surrender to my mate
Two loves to own: my Self and Poetry…
And when our spirits freely fuse in art,
O how the intimacy thrills my heart!
from Private Edition (Sonnets and Other Poems; Milestone Publications, 2002 (Philippines)
Also worth reading --
Susan Evangelista's review of FILIPINO WOMEN WRITERS IN ENGLISH, THEIR STORY: 1905-2002 by Edna Zapanta-Manlapaz (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003;258 pages, ISBN 971-550-451-5)
Evangelista's review originally appeared in the journal Philippine Studies, 2nd quarter 2004 but is available through this link: