Saturday, July 13, 2013

To The Man I Married by Angela Manalang-Gloria (Filipino Translation and Analysis )

A Philippine Literature course activity, translating the poem: To The Man I Married.
The instructions didn't include adding a meter; only rhymes were necessary. However, I went ahead and gave my translation both rhyme and meter. 
(I do not claim ownership of the poem "To The Man I Married")

by Angela Manalang-Gloria

You are my earth and all the earth implies:
The gravity that ballasts me in space,
The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries
For food and shelter against devouring days.
You are the earth whose orbit marks my way
And sets my north and south, my east and west,
You are the final, elemented clay
The driven heart must turn to for its rest.
If in your arms that hold me now so near
I lift my keening thoughts to Helicon
As trees long rooted to the earth uprear
Their quickening leaves and flowers to the sun,
You who are earth, O never doubt that I
Need you no less because I need the sky!

I can not love you with a love
        That outcompares the boundless sea,
For that were false, as no such love
        And no such ocean can ever be.
But I can love you with a love
        As finite as the wave that dies
And dying holds from crest to crest
        The blue of everlasting skies.

Filipino Translation:
Ni Angela Manalang-Gloria

Ikaw ang aking mundo at ang lahat nitong hinihiwatig:
Ang grabidad na nagpapapirmi sa akin sa kalawakan,
Ang hanging nilalanghap, ang lupang sa iyak ay nagpapatid
Para sa pagkai’t silong laban sa mga araw na sakmalan.
Ikaw ang mundo na ang daangtala’y takda sa aking daan
At nagtaktakda ng hilaga’t timog, silanga’t kanluran ko,
Ikaw ang elementadong luad na s’yang kahulihulihan
Kung saan lumiliko’t nagpapahinga ang pagod na puso.
Kung sa iyong mga bisig na hawak ako ngayong kay lapit
Sa Helicon itaas ko ang panaghoy ng saloobin ko
Tulad ng mga punong baon sa mundo’t patungo ay langit
At mga dahon at bulaklak nilang sa araw ang patungo,
Ikaw na siyang mundo, ay huwag pagdudahan na may patid
Ang hal’ga mo sa’kin ‘pagkat kailangan ko rin ang himpapawid!

‘Di kita kayang mahalin na may pag-ibig
Na hinihigit ang dagat na walang hanggan,
‘Pagkat huwad ito, waring walang pag-ibig
At walang gayong dagat na walang hangganan.
Ngunit ma’ring mahalin kitang may pag-ibig
Na kasing hanggan ng mga alo’ng namamatay
At abot-diling kapit sa galugod na higpit
Ang asul ng langit na ‘di mamamatay.


        To The Man I Married is not wholly a poem regarding the love of a wife to his husband. On the contrary, it describes more in detail the limitations placed by the husband to his wife: the domestication of women. He gives everything she needs and because of this, the wife became dependent on the husband ("The air I breathe... whose orbit marks my way And sets my north and south...").

        Angela Manalang was a graduate of the University of the Philippines, an esteemed university known for shaping strong, critical and ambitious men and women. As such, it is no wonder that she would describe her love for her husband in a way that contradicts many poems depicting love for a man as a perfect, everlasting concept; her love is imperfect and so is her relationship with him ("I can not love you with a love That outcampares the boundless sea... as no such love... can ever be."). Yes, she loves him, but as a woman and as a person, she too has her own ambitions and dreams. However, she can no longer reach these dreams as she is now committed and accustomed to her life as a wife and mother; she can only look on and try to reach out ("If in your arms that hold me now so near... As trees long rooted to the earth uprear..."). She speaks of her love as limited, only going as far as the earth may provide ("As finite as the wave that dies...") and tells the husband that his love is not the only one she seeks but also her ambition for greater things, though it does not hinder her love for him ("Need you no less because I need the sky!"). 

The poem depicts a woman, now accustomed and limited to the reality of marriage, telling her husband how she loves him in the most realistic description as possible: earthly and mortal. She tells him how, even when he has provided everything for her, she still longs for the ambitions she needed to abandon and how, even when she needs her dreams, this does not lessen her love for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this poem, and I agree with your interpretation.

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