May mga rules pa rin kahit free verse
May mga pamantayan pa rin kahit sa malayang taludturan.
Katulad ito ng kalayaan (freedom). Sa bansa natin, may kalayaan subalit libo-libo ang mga nasusulat at di-nasusulat na batas na dapat sundin nating mga mamamayan upang manatiling maayos, payapa, desente, at sibilisado ang ating lipunan.
Ganoon din sa free verse. Hindi porke free, kahit ano na lang ang puwedeng gawin. May mga batas na dapat pa ring sundin.
Hindi po ako ang maysabi nito kundi ang mga dalubhasa sa panitikan. Tunghayan natin ang sinasabi tungkol sa malayang taludturan ng premyadong manunulat na si Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista:
"Good Fiction in a Writing Workshop"
By Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista
Published in Philippine Panorama, May 28,2006, p. 25.
IN the 7th UST Creative Writing Workshop, held last May 2-6 in Manila and Tagaytay, the fictionists had a better grasp of their craft than the poets had of theirs.
The poets, who were more in number, failed to reflect in their works the excellence demanded by poetic structure and content. They had the notion that free verse was poetry written any way they wanted and that they could write about anything.
We had to remind them that it was best to write about things that they knew and that there was really nothing “free” about free verse. Though it rejects specific stanzaic measures, rhymes, and poetic techniques associated with traditional verse, it must observe a body of rules that dictates its shape and sound.
To write free verse, therefore, is not simply a matter of chopping sentences into random linear fragments.
The matter of how long or short a line should depend on the natural system of breathing.
The originators of free verse believed that the language of the poem should be as close as possible to common speech – in rhythm, diction, and tempo.
Thus, the justification for the length of the lines in free verse is the ease and naturalness of its effect on oral reading. The lines should not render us breathless because they are very long, nor force us to speak in staggering phrases because they are very short.
"Free verse is like free love," wrote G. K. Chesterton, "it is a contradiction in terms."
For there is no such thing as freedom in any art form, though the good artists create that illusion. Since art is a way of producing things, there is always a system involved in the production.
"Again, the Importance of Orthodox Poetic Forms"
By Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista
Published in Philippine Panorama, November 19, 2006, p.25.
WE are editing an anthology of poetry by young Filipino poets, and we notice that a majority of them do not give importance to traditional poetic forms.
Whether this is out of ignorance or simply a defiant choice, we do not know. But it is clear that they do not explore the structures of sonnets, villanelles, or sestina, for instance; neither do they employ rhymes and rhyme-schemes. They seem to think that metrical configurations are matters of accidents, not to be pursued for some rational intention. Consequently, their lines possess an unnatural and primitive breakage. The first because they do not harmonize with ordinary breathing and the second because they violate the essentials of speech patterns.
This is Jose Garcia Villa’s point when he said that “Filipino poets are tuneless.” He was referring to the unskilled poets, those who hide behind the skirts of free verse to justify their ignorance of form.
They have no lyrical consciousness; they have no sympathy with aural harmonics; they do not exercise a polyphonic sensibility. Because they treat a poem as an object to be seen rather than be heard, they push it to an unmitigated silence.
But knowledge of form is important whether we speak of poetry in the visual (or printed) mode or in the aural (or heard) mode. Both modes, after all, are linguistic, and anything related to language is part of the form.
Unfortunately, the invention of printing fixed the physical property of a poem on the page, thereby pinning it to a largely pictographic personality. We do not so much hear it as we see it.
This removes from it the necessity of auditory radiation, of musical excellence, and reduces it to a soundless visual performance.
When poets perpetuate this situation, they do poetry a disservice. Villa called them "earless."
Thus, such a poem loses integrity when removed from the page because the words are revealed to be merely artificially connected to each other. They sound prosaic.
But the true test of a poem is in the reading aloud of it, not in the silent contemplation of it. Only after the sounds of it are properly apprehended by audition can we proceed to other processes of analysis.