Pilipino Library: Dear Universe by Pierra Calasanz-Labrador
I’ve never felt that I understood poetry as I should. Perhaps it’s because poetry seems to be the literature that gets left behind by so many or perhaps because it gets misunderstood too often. My closest relationship to poetry is my childhood exposure to Shel Silverstein and then later in life as a mother to share the wonder with my children. I have a few A.A. Milne books on the shelf but beyond that, I must say I am starved and very naive to the world of poetry. Luckily on my crusade to love Manila I found a close attachment to locally published books. A few years back Pierra became a friend through social media and has been an encouraging support ever since. I was able to read her first book, The Heartbreak Diaries, and became more educated on the the Filipino cultural concept of hugot. This week I devoured her follow up collection of poems titled, Dear Universe: Poems on love, longing and finding your place in the cosmos.
a quiet voice longing to be heard
Pierra has taught me more about poetry than any other source or college English class ever could have. Her words are approachable, it’s like the pages all read, ‘KITA KITA.’ You won’t find an ounce of pretentiousness, the vocabulary is fitting for our time and my personal stage in life. She even has a poem about Mari Kondo that made me laugh out loud.
With each page I was enlightened by seeing the inner works of an introverts heart and mind. Have I become an introvert? As a mother I’ve given everything, many days I want nothing more than to be alone with myself and NO ONE ELSE. Is this extreme extrovert a closet introvert? Are you an introvert?
The collection of poems in Dear Universe are short stories that shed light on love, personal struggles but also led me wanting more. Pierra, are you actually a dominatrix? Ha! I will ask you next time in person. So if you’re like me, a peasant reader who seeks to be schooled a bit more in poetry, give Dear Universe a go.
Kita Kita Titas,
Pick up a copy of The Heartbreak Diaries and Dear Universe at National Book.