Poetry Wednesdays

Waray Poetry: Voltaire Oyzon reads “Gab-i” / “Night”

For the second installment of Poetry Wednesdays, here’s Tacloban-based Waray poet Voltaire Oyzon, reading “Gab-i.”

Voltaire is also one of the minds behind the Corpora Project, a database of texts in various languages. It’s purpose is to preserve language and provide structural analysis that can be used to classify texts according to comprehension level for use in mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTBMLE). Check it out at http://corporaproject.org/


Nagkikinain-kain ka ngani

nga pirmi ka man nasisidman?

Naabot ka kun nakakalakat na

iton lamrag.

Kapoy ka pirmi

kay ha pag-abot mo

nagdudulom iton kalarakan,

an mga bituon daw mga sada nga tak-om,

an mga hinimo han Makagarahom

natikang maghuring-huring

ha ira mga himangraw.

Pagal ka gad nga duro

hiton imo sudoy

kay ha imo pagkakaturog

naturo iton imo laway

ngada hiton mga dahon.

Hahapuhapon ko iton imo bungkog.

Papakaturogon ko ikaw

tubtob nga umabot an

tigaman—an pangunat han sulhog

han sidlangan

imo na liwat ako


— Voltaire Oyzon

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Translated from Waray by Dante A. Rosales

Where have you been going to

that the darkness constantly catches up with you?

You show up when daylight

has faded out.

You are always exhausted

because when you arrive

the sky gets heavy dark,

the stars look like closed doors,

and the creatures of God

start to whisper

in their conversations.

You must be truly tired

from your meandering

because in your sleep

your saliva dripped

down to the leaves.

I will soothe your weariness

with my caress,

and lull you to sleep

until the sign appears—

the rays of light stretching

from the east.

And you will leave me,

all by my lonesome, again.

— Voltaire Oyzon

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