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Selected Poems

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This is Cirilo F. Bautista’s twelfth book of poems, selected by the poet himself from his remarkable body of past work.

Bautista, declared National Artist for Literature in 2014, shows the craft and artistry that put him in the forefront of Philippine literary development.
A better epic poet than any American I know.

My admiration for the mind and spirit of Cirilo F. Bautista.

Cirilo F. Bautista is the long-needed break-away from the lyric tradition that Jose Garcia Villa created.
National Artist for Literature

His writings have done much to enhance the framework of Philippine nationalism beyond the narrow bounds of the traditional concepts of what is Filipino and have brought in a global inclusiveness that has set the Philippines as a vibrant member among the other nations of the world.
National Artist for Literature

193 pages, Paperback

Published January 1, 2016

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About the author

Cirilo F. Bautista

24 books25 followers
Cirilo F. Bautista is Professor Emeritus of Literature at De La Salle University-Manila. A poet, novelist, essayist and critic, he has published books of poetry, fiction, criticism for which he has won such awards as the Philippine Centennial Literary Prize and Palanca Hall of Fame. He is a resident of Quezon City with his wife, Rose Marie Jimenez Bautista and together, they raised their three children.

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Profile Image for Aloysiusi Lionel.
84 reviews5 followers
October 13, 2018
In 2016, the University of the Philippines Press celebrated the giftedness and greatness of Cirilo Bautista, who passed away a couple of months ago, by collecting some of the poems formerly published in his five books. If one has read his many works, he will notice the varying structure of his poetry, how he employed in his verses the discipline of the form as well as the occasional (and for me the more effective) experimentation on how far and deep and wide language could go. Resonant in the collection is the sincerity of his craft, brought by his unrelenting contemplation on the fate of the nation and by his dedication to place Philippine literature in the international landscape dominated by Western figures. A reader attuned to the historical and cultural forces around the development of Philippine poetry in English can give a panoramic view of reasons for launching Bautista into the Order of National Artists. Whether they serve as ekphratic pieces or recollections of sojourns, his works always invite us into the quest of questioning, each line and couplet is a rhetorical device. Poems such as "The Tiler", "Takanawa Prince Hotel", "Pedagogic" and "Written in Stratford-upon-Avon" are the finest examples of the Cirilo Bautista Way, demonstrating his rigor in probing the intricacies of aesthetics, ethics and politics, while capturing the circumstances of the common people. Such poems should be included in literature and language textbooks so aspiring poets, who are now more passionate in self-publishing and spoken word, would realize that poetry, even in the language of our colonizers and of globalization, should heighten a people's sense of time and place, and should not be limited to the mere expressions of swooning, angst and self-deprecation. Specially in these times when mainstream spheres avert their gaze at the printed word, the preservation and the continuous reprinting of finest literary works is an inclusive task. (Next on the reading list: The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus.)
Here is an excerpt from one of his poems, "Landscape with Weeping Figures":

Time and silence after all are a mask
To cover the blood of our face
Since speech and sleep cannot erase
Our guilt. Correcting landscape is our task.
That is why I refuse to wear a mask.

(My "flash" reviewers are getting longer!)
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