Saturday, September 24, 2011

Selected Poems

Selected PoemsSelected Poems by Merlie M. Alunan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I first encountered Merlie Alunan's work in college. Her poem, Bringing the Dolls, was simple enough for college students to analyze, yet something about it struck me.

Selected Poems combines materials from two of Alunan's previously published collections, Hearthstone, Sacred Tree and Dream Cycles.

For me, the standouts in this collection are Emy and For Edith: Hearthstone, sacred tree from Poems from Green Valley, Nati-san, Hunger, and Addressing the Muse. There's also an interesting Filipino translation of Mandirigmang bundok ng Santa Catalina... by Bien Lumbera.

Alunan is at her best when writing about people, and how they interact with the unlikely, say a massive rock kept in the middle of one's kitchen. I wasn't drawn to most of the material that comprised Selected Poems, but the poems I've mentioned are definitely worth a glance.