Okt 19, 2018

Ang Mga Hayop sa Bangin

ni Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev
aking salin

Papunta ang Baboy sa simbahan sa Sankt Peterburg, at nakasalubong niya ang Lobo.

“Baboy, o Baboy, saan ka pupunta?”

“Sa Sankt Peterburg, at mananalangin sa Diyos.”

“Nais kong sumama!”

“Halina’t maghuntahan tayo.”

Kaya’t magkasama silang nagpatuloy, at nakasalubong nila ang Alamid.

“Baboy, saan ka pupunta?”

“Sa Sankt Peterburg, kung iyong mamarapatin.”

“Nais kong sumama!”

“Halina’t maghuntahan tayo.”

Magkakasama silang nagpapatuloy nang makasalubong nila ang Kuneho, na siyang nagwika, “Baboy, o Baboy, saan ka pupunta?”

“Sa Sankt Peterburg, upang manalangin sa Diyos?”

“Tamang-tama, at nais kong sumama.”

“Tamang-tama nga, halina.”

Hindi naglaon at nakasalubong nila ang Ardilya, na sumama rin sa kanila. Subalit sa landas nilang ito, nasumpungan nila ang isang malawak at malalim na bangin. Lumukso ang Baboy at nahulog, at pagkatapos niya ang Lobo, ang Alamid, ang Kuneho, at ang Ardilya.

At matagal silang nakaupo roon, at nagutom sila nang husto, sapagkat wala silang makain.

“Magsiawit tayo,” sabi ng Alamid, “at ating kakainin ang hayop na may pinakamaliit na boses.”

Kaya’t kumanta ang Lobo gamit ang garalgal at malalim niyang tinig, Aw, aw, aw! At sumunod ang Baboy na mas mahina lang nang kaunti, Oo, oo, oo! Ngunit mahusay at matinis ang entrada ng Alamid, Ey, ey, ey; samantalang humuni ang Kuneho at iyon ang pinakamahinang Ee, ee, ee sa daigdig. At umawit din ang Ardilya, Ee, ee, ee! Kaya’t agad na nilapa ng mga hayop ang Ardilya at ang Kuneho, at wala tinira sa kanila maliban sa mga buto.

Kinabukasan, nagwika ang Alamid, “Kakainin natin ang hayop na may pinakamalaking boses.” Iyon ang Lobo, at kay lakas ng kaniyang garalgal na Aw, aw, aw! Kaya’t nilapa nila ang Lobo. Kinain ng Alamid ang laman at itinago ang puso at mga lamang-loob. Tatlong araw siyang nakaupo habang kinakain ang mga ito.

At noon siya tinanong ng Baboy: “Ano ang kinakain mo?—bigyan mo ako!”

“Ay, Baboy, sarili kong laman itong kinakain ko. Kagatin mo iyang tiyan mo, at nguyain mo ang iyong sarili.”

Na siyang ginawa ng Baboy, at pinapiyestahan siya ng Alamid.

Naiwan ang Alamid bilang huling hayop sa bangin.

Nakaakyat na kaya siya, o nananatili pa rin siya roon? Sa totoo lang ay hindi ko alam.

Set 3, 2018

Hi, V—

I thought I answered this the week you sent it, but now I see I haven’t (opening of classes here was shaky). Thank you for taking time to send me welcome news. Don’t pressure yourself—it gets difficult, yes, but there’s joy in learning and that’s where it’s important to nest.

I miss Diliman. I’m sure you’ll love it there.

Set 2, 2018


Hi, A—

First, let me thank you for your participation in class. It now seems much better than the previous time I offered it, and I have you and others like you to thank for that.

It’s rare to find someone eager for true feedback, not merely instant, easy praise. I’ll honor your earnest request by sidestepping the flattery. We both know that you are fluent, that your syntax need less work than others your age. We both see your capacity for extended composition (you can dwell on something, go on and on about it) and you’ll be needing that when times are trying and writing’s more of a burden than a promise. Your letter is evidence of your inclination, interest, and willingness to put in the work.

So, what needs work? Originality, imagery—I’d have you concentrate on these two.

Look at your titles: we could easily miss those, yes? In our readings we have titles like “Guava” and “Autobiography of Water” that attempt to distinguish their pieces. We have “The Mother” too, true, and it comes across as something we could so easily forget, but it makes up for that it with symmetrical imagery in the thrift of sentences, such that title and piece together become indelible, inextricable from each other.

Find ways toward new expressions, new situations, fresh images. If you’ve seen it in a telenovela or heard it in a pop song, stay away from it (that, or find a way to reinvent it). Rooftop scenes are romantic but they are also trite, that is, one such scene would melt against all similar scenes from the past. If on your first draft you find the characters drifting there, don’t stop them. Let the scene play out. But once you’ve completed the draft ask yourself if you can move them closer to a better, more distinguishable place, maybe one from your childhood where you can dwell on odors, recoil from a pest, or touch the occasional petal or a discarded cigarette.

Once you’ve moved them in (or out), let them interact with this place. You will find that the scene changes, not just visually, but the action too, the words, the thoughts of the people inside the scene.

I am leading you to the environment (streets with stray dogs, one scratching an already swollen tail, there’s a building, salmon pink, you won’t miss it as the other others are nearly all gray or sky blue, but there’s a foot of wrought iron jutting from its side and someone in the neighborhood—who?—comes out at dawn to hang sando bags of garbage there for the morning collection, and after that’s collected, the children take turns monkeying around with bar, oh the reddish brown on their palms) because while your submissions tell us that you can put into words what’s on your character’s mind, you and your characters must engage the material texture of the world or those feelings would seem to bloom from no true ground.

Attached is this book that I’ve kept, an old go-to when it comes to composition.

Ago 7, 2018

Point of unity

What it does: “These unwholesome views deliver an instant moisture boost.”

Words for all clinic types.

On the contrary, he cared for it while improving uneven vernacular and redness

Leaving many communities endlessly plump and dewy, even in the midst of these attacks on your face.

“Gore soothes in a flash and refreshes drop boxes,” dissenters added. 

Set includes: “Drum for the pain I caused.”

And foundations lessen fine lines.

2 ml in the morning

Eat well and eat the grace you’d expect

Limit the decor and indoor plumbing

Part oral history

Introduce new calcium gently keep

An eye on what he drinks during the day