Filipino Lit Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday: Joel Toledo’s Other ‘Heart’

Last week, Myra featured Joel Toledo’s Heart. A poem I fell in love with the moment I read it. However,  in the collection of poetry the poet sent Myra, there was another poem that had the same title which I’ll feature today as we join this week’s poetry Friday that is hosted by Tabatha Yeats of The Opposite of Indifference.

I do not know what I loved about this poem, whether it is the alliteration, that strong declaration at the beginning of the poem or the line “I pin a right hand over it at times.” To me, this poem captures the heart’s ability to take on the most difficult challenges of life. Anyway, I’ll leave you to it.

I don’t anymore want melody
with its wont for pleasing and pattern
and why should I have it lilting
in the background when
consoling relatives? My heart
is forged for frailty and failure.
I am accepting this now– its many vessels
leading to sorrow, its southpaw stance.
I pin a right hand over it at times,
out of duty or earnestness or just to check
if its still here. Yes, there is always some
grand grief in its capacity to quiet everything,
eventually. And I do not cherish such knowledge.
So every day, I work it, this heart ,
pacing it because I hate syncopation. Skip
that. I want complete mono/tone. I prefer
the cadence, the metronome. I insist on heart.

9 comments on “Poetry Friday: Joel Toledo’s Other ‘Heart’

  1. It’s a poem to read and savor, but mysterious in its contradictions, as in “Yes, there is always some/ grand grief in its capacity to quiet everything, /eventually.


  2. I really like this one. Thanks for sharing


  3. I like it too. Thanks.


  4. Mary, you should feature the only Filipino poem of Joel. I’ll send you a copy. And Joel will definitely kill me. Hehehehehe


    • Hi Dax, we would love to have that. You see, we only have 15 poems I think to draw from, so we are having a lot of difficulties, in terms of finding threads and such. That would be very nice of you.


  5. Pingback: Highlights of November and Carnival of Children’s Literature |

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