Lang Leav: Simply One of the Best Poets

One of my most favorite poems by the Australian author, Lang Leav. She was in the Philippines last February for book signing sessions and these were all jampacked! Wish she would come back next year…..

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In Two Parts

— Lang Leav

You come and go so easily,

your life is as you knew—

while mine is split in two.

How I envy so the half of me,

who lived before love’s due,

who was yet to know of you.

An English Major’s Choices: Unforgettable Lines from my Favorite Love Stories in Philippine and Asian Literature

I was an English major in college and I had the privilege of having access to the best collections of Philippine and Asian literature in English thanks in part to the University of the Philippines Main Library at its Diliman campus and in part to my very well-read professors. I have come across some stories I would like to recommend to those who would like to know more about classic Philippine and Asian lit. For starters, here are some quotes from some of my favorite love stories I was introduced to at school:

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1. This Earth of Mankind, a novel by multiawarded Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer (translated by Max Weber)

“My own name… for the time being I need not tell it.” – Minke, an ardent Native admirer of the half-White Annelies

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2. “Dead Stars”, the first Philippine short story in English (written by Paz Marquez Benitez in 1925)

Those six weeks were now so swift–seeming in the memory, yet had they been so deep in the living, so charged with compelling power and sweetness. Because neither the past nor the future had relevance or meaning, he lived only the present, day by day, lived it intensely, with such a willful shutting out of fact as astounded him in his calmer moments.

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3.  “May Day Eve”, a short story written by Nick Joaquin, Philippine National Artist for Literature

“Mirror, mirror, show to me him whose woman I will be,” – young Agueda

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4. South of the Border, West of the Sun, a novel by Japanese literary giant Haruki Murakami (translated by Philip Gabriel)

“I was always attracted not by some quantifiable, external beauty, but by something deep down, something absolute”

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