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elsewhere held and lingered

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elsewhere held and lingered is Conchitina Cruz’s third book, following Disappear (High Chair, 2004), and Dark Hours (UP Press, 2005), which won the National Book Award for Poetry. A recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation grants, Cruz teaches creative writing and literature at UP Diliman.

81 pages

First published January 1, 2008

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About the author

Conchitina R. Cruz

9 books54 followers
Conchitina R. Cruz is Professor at the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines Diliman. She received her PhD in English from State University of New York (SUNY) Albany.

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5 stars
71 (64%)
4 stars
28 (25%)
3 stars
9 (8%)
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2 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for cy .
95 reviews19 followers
November 13, 2021
overall, from the construction of every poem down to its theme, this book gracefully set the tone of grief and betrayal. it's not explicit; it's not like a full-blown poetry book that simply narrates heartbreak. every line has some semblance of longing, of affection. it's so vulnerable in a subtlest way possible, as though the narrator is so far out in the reality, that the poems are twinned with such detachment.

when i was reading the second half of the book, i was at first confused as to why the poems are written on the footnotes, until i realized the writer is making these experiences her point of reference. the first two parts tells us that there is an affair going on, the second is accepting the fact that the relationship is bound to meet its due, the last is living in an echo—reeling from the separation, living out the process of starting again—although that is also to say that there's also the hesitancy present in all those parts—a stubbornness to hold onto the relationship, making excuses to accept the situation, as if cheating can be saved by submitting to the fact that at least, he comes home to you. at least you know.

like i said, the mood of this book has been set from the beginning like you are already grieving. like you are just walking in a memory lane, remembering what have transpired.

at least that's how interpret this.
Profile Image for John.
205 reviews25 followers
January 5, 2020
Cruz's gorgeous words and lyricism, and her singular way of writing her poetry were the two remarkable qualities of this book. But it's the theme and story of 'elsewhere held and lingered' that made me gasp, squirm on my seat, and utterly scandalized. It also made this unforgettable. How could she write so beautifully about something bordering on immoral?
Profile Image for Aloysiusi Lionel.
84 reviews5 followers
October 13, 2018
It is through art can we express the seat of human desires, one's vulnerabilities and his/her aspiration for strength and fullness. Chingbee Cruz, whose compelling collection Dark Hours I had the chance to read and enjoy, has without reservation poeticized one's perspectives on seduction, fidelity, marriage, and recovery from the wounds of letting go in Elsewhere Held and Lingered (High Chair, 2010). Whether the persona is the author articulating personal experiences or she formed a plethora of women's voices within a singular voice resonating in all the poems, she succinctly captured the essence of what it means to be strong when weakness "haunts rather than invades" and to be meditative when the fragility of heart "tries to break open and bleeds of withered daffodils". Not to mention the effortlessness in enjambments and delineations in order to arrive at what intends to narrate and illustrate, this book testifies to the impetus of anyone who's bound by the spell of poetry: the after, the aftertaste and the afterthought of words which last and linger in the mouth, in memory. And for this chance of savoring great poetry, like in this one, I will ever be thankful. (Personal favorites among the poems are "Index of last lines", "Marginalia" and "One for the baby, and one more for the road".)
Profile Image for Chris.
107 reviews
December 25, 2019
Gorgeous collection with interestingly structured poems using footnotes and marginalia, multiple choice tests, and even the index of last lines.

The forms reminded me of Jose Garcia Villa but I much prefer the way Cruz plays with the absences in the text. I liked the complexity of the relationships depicted. The poems feel like intimate glimpses into these people’s lives.

I bookmarked a number of them but my favourite is “Where were you all this time?”
Profile Image for Naomi.
29 reviews18 followers
March 27, 2018
Not as good as Dark Hours and THERE IS NO EMERGENCY, I think, but still good nonetheless. First time going into this I had no idea that it was about infidelity, and it gets tiring after a while reading about the whole thing again and again, but there are moments where it catches you off guard and then the pain smears against your mouth.
Profile Image for pledge.
8 reviews3 followers
August 5, 2020
if you're into allusions and idiosyncrasies, then read it
Profile Image for Yana.
1 review
August 13, 2020
I love this book so much. Some of my favorite poems are "It's good to see you out in the sun," "send me to the moon," and "one for my baby, and one more for the road."
Profile Image for Erika.
83 reviews5 followers
December 5, 2020
A lovely collection. Ms. Chingbee's words are lilting and melodic, even when they speak of unsavory things. It's easy to get lost in them.
Profile Image for Carla.
18 reviews1 follower
May 23, 2022
Wala akong mapaglagyan ng bighani dito sa Elsewhere. Napakaganda at nakatulong talaga.
Profile Image for IE.
174 reviews16 followers
September 8, 2021
Probably my third or fourth reading, which is me in rare form. I do ONS with most poetry books. Footnotes and marginalia, some of the book's formal transgressive choices, seem to contain and mimic their subject matter, i.e., transgressive acts. That bit is pretty fucking brilliant.

But more than that, there's something about the women here that satisfy an inner itch for kitsch or camp. They somehow remind me of Filipino afternoon soap opera drama, with women who are stunning and vile, self-critical and in vogue. Pretty women with complex internal monologues that oscillate between leaving and not leaving their partners, who are often oblivious about their affairs. And just to complete the fantasy, I imagine them dining in some Michelin-star restaurant, in Louboutins and vintage cocktail dresses, slipping another white lie or plotting a way out.
Profile Image for Nostaljha.
26 reviews3 followers
June 7, 2014
Thanks ALA for lending me the book. However, please give me one more week. I wanna read it several times pa. :D
Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews

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