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Filipino poetry in English is one of the crowning achievements of our people today.

Since the introduction of the English language together with its literary treasure at the advent of the American rule, it was able to gain bulk, range, from, and substance in short, maturity and significance to deserve national and even international recognition. Since the turn of the 20th century, no less than three hundred Filipinos have written poetry with varying sincerity and devotion, and no less than five dozen individual volumes of verses have been printed here and abroad .

The growth of English as a literary idiom is attributed to the remarkable changes wrought in our country in the 20th century, thereby affecting the manifold phase of Filipino life. The first of these influence is the establishment of the school system throughout the archipelago. Education, from being a privilege of wealth and a mark of social distinction, became the birthright of every Filipino. With the rapid growth of education in the country, voices have become more and more articulate. The growth of literacy likewise gave a deeper, broader significance to the works of our writers who now began to speak to and sing for an every-increasing audience formerly confined to a mere community or a thin stratum of literati.

The second influence is the disappearance of censorship which had characterized the Spanish regime. This had a twofold significance for our literary and cultural growth. For the first time, our writers were enabled to make free and unhampered contact with the thinkers and writers of other countries. The literature of the world, its tremendous richness of thought and feeling and its remarkable variety of form, now became part of our own literary heritage.

Natividad Marquez, known at times as Ana Chavez, had written some distinguished lyrics. Her poems were generally short but displayed the grace and music of a real artist. Simple in form and expression, her poems had a rare musical quality. These qualities are clearly evident in the SAMPAGUITA and THE SEA. She died in the prime of life. THE SEA Why does the sea laugh, Mother, As it glints beneath the sun? It is thinking of the joys, my child, That it wishes every one. Why does the sea sob so, Mother, As it breaks on the rocky shore? It recalls the sorrow of the world, And weeps forevermore. Why is the sea so peaceful, Mother As if it were fast asleep? It would give our tired hearts, dearest child, The comfort of the deep,

By: Natividad Marquez

Conrado B. Rigor was both a short story writer and a poet. In 1939, he published Sprouts, a collection of light verses and sonnets. Memorial to America, Rigors best poem in vers libre, was included in Carlos Bulosans Chorus for America. He died after the liberation.

PORTRAIT PAINTER My eyes have taught my hand to steal, I stole the ebon-curling of your hair, The tender blush against your cheeks; I stole that piquant curving of your lips, That wistful glitter in your eyes; I stoke the very sight of you. But still, ah, still I fain would steal once and for all Your heart. By: Conrado B. Rigor

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