her soul, she says, speaks
in three languages . . . one heart
awakened from sleep
In the short time I’ve been posting on this blog, I’ve had the good fortune to come in contact with a number of people who’ve opened up the world of haiku (and other types of short form poetry) to me. One of those people, who has become a dear friend, is Alegria Imperial, whose poetry blog jornales is as spirited as she is. Alegria is a native of the Philippines and, as such, is grounded in three languages: English, Spanish, and Iluko–a dialect of the northern region of her homeland. Iluko, for Alegria, is a childhood language that she put aside until she reunited with it years later in a homecoming that has helped to shape her identity as a poet. Now, thanks to a trilingual posting of three of her tanka poems on an online journal called qarrtsiluni (which specializes in translation and world language), the rest of us also have a chance to make acquaintance with Alegria’s native tongue. And, oh, what an introduction! Through the wonders of the internet, the journal’s podcast allows readers to follow along with the written word while actually hearing Alegria recite her tanka in the three tongues (English, Spanish, and Iluko) she wrote them in. All you have to do is click on a link to have that world open up to you!
Mil gracias, Alegria. Agyamannak. Thank you.