Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beyond Forgetting

In our toastmasters meeting last Thursday, April 20, I was surprised to hear myself promoting Philippine literature to my audience. I don 't know if it was because of the Story Philippine Magazine I got hold of the week before or was it because the Palanca Awards season officially opened or maybe because I was reading Lakambini Sitoy's Mens Rea, a collection of her great short stories. Never a good salesman, I felt I made my first million dollar sale when I caught everyone's attention on the topic.

The following day, Marjo, a very good friend from Toast of Mensa, shared with me the poem she loved most. Beyond Forgetting was written by Rolando Carbonell, one of the gurus in Philippine love poetry, who happens to be Marjo's friend.

Dr. Carbonell had a colorful love affair, has 14 children but has only one love - Tita whom this poem was dedicated to.

Beyond Forgetting
Rolando A. Carbonell

For a moment I thought I could forget you.

For a moment I thought I could still the restlessness in my heart. I thought the past could no longer haunt me-nor hurt me.

How wrong I was!

For the past, no matter how distant is as much a part of me as life itself. And you are part of that life. You are so much a part of me-of my dreams, my early hopes, my youth and my ambitions-that in all my tasks I can’t help remembering you. Many little delights and things remind me of you.

Yes, I came. And would my pride mock my real feelings? Would the love song, the sweet and lovely smile on your face, be lost among the deepening shadows?

I have wanted to be alone.

I thought I could make myself forget you in silence and in song . . .

And yet I remembered. For who could forget the memory of the once lovely, the once beautiful, the once happy world such as ours?

I came because the song that I kept through the years I waiting to be sung. I cannot sing it without you. The song when sung lone will lose the essence of its tune, because you and I had been one.

I have wanted this misery to end, because it is part of my restlessness.

Can’t you understand? Can’t you divine the depth and the tenderness of my feelings towards you? Yes, can’t you see how I suffer in this even darkness without you?

You went away because you mistook my silence for indifference. But silence, my dear, is the language of my heart. For how could I essay the intensity of my love when silence speaks a more eloquent tone? But, perhaps you didn’t understand

Remember, I came, because the gnawing loneliness is there and will not be lost until the music is sung, until the poem is heard, until the silence is understood . . . until you come to me again.

For you alone can blend music and memory into one consuming ecstasy. You alone . . .


Blogger yhas said...

its so very nice

2:15 AM  
Blogger yousof said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:28 PM  
Blogger yousof said...

I remember a radio program "Echoes of he Heart" hosted by mrs Ruth Palmani that was almost 27 years ago. That was the first time I heard somebody read the poem of Rolando Carbonel presented gently and eloquently performed by the host herself

2:29 PM  
Blogger Tita de Guzman said...

I was 18 when I gave a copy of this poem to then my boyfriend. 40 years after my husband can completely recite this poem to me. Rolando Carbonell is a genius and Beyond Forgetting is the best poem ever written!

10:42 AM  
Blogger jarahdz500 said...

i was in second year high (1963) when i heard a classmate mumbling some lines, as if he was trying to memorize a verse. I learned that it was a poem and later i learned that it was by certain rolando carbonel. I never knew of the author. My classmate had planned to send it to her crush. Then, a neighbor, the mother of another friend, asked me if i knew rolando carbonel. i said, no but told her i heard some lines of his poem beyond foregtting. the mother told me: he's a friend of mine. To tell you the truth, it's only a few minutes ago (2pm August 30, 2009) when i googled for the poem, for wich i didn't know why, and read the entire text for the first time.

10:31 PM  
Blogger jarahdz500 said...

i was second year in high school (1963) when i noticed a classmate reciting to himself some lines from a verse; he told me it's from the poem beyond forgetting by a certain rolando carbonel. he had planned to send it to his crush. then, a neighbor and mother of a friend of mine had asked me if i knew rolando carbonel. i said no but hear about his poem from a classmate. she told me the man was her friend when they were younger. came to see the the text of the poem just a few minutes ago (2pm august 30, 2009) when i googled it. i didn't know why i did just what i did. anyway, for the old fashioned, kakagatin pa ang tulang ito.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Annie Donabelle said...

It brings back memories of my first love.He used to recite that poem to me over and over again.

He was then my one great love but have to part ways cause of family objections.

Now as I'm reading it again every word hits me cause the feelings is still there but have to keep it to myself cause I know he would never be mine again.

2:11 AM  
Blogger dyer lux said...

Just so excited to get hold of this poem by Rolando Carbonell, Beyond Forgetting . . remembering my high school years when I had a copy of this poem but got lost. . in time. I love the dept of thoughts and feelings of the poet. .that was so authentic it was defined so beautifully. .He must be a very romantic one.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Roberta Dalusong said...

I am an avid admirer of Dr. Rolando Carbonel who is also a friend and classmate at Far Eastern University. His poem "Beyond Forgetting" is one of the best poems I treasure because it expresses my feelings . He was the one who inspired me to join that pilgrimage to Mt. Banahaw in Dolores, Quezon, Philippines. It would be my greatest pleasure if I could meet with him again. He himself is beyond forgetting.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Jaeger Stahl said...

My Dad gave me the book. I shared it with mu cohort. We were youthful and exuberantly shared the joy of quoting from it, until today when we met. Remembering now of things past, I think it holds the rare experience of falling in love without a word spoken between us ..except the mundane exchange of strangers in a short summer camp up on the hills just beyond a volcano. I saw him first cleaning the pool at sundown. I was surprised to see him and so was he. I turned back to the common room, unnerved a bit. The Camp went so fast. The evening before the camp broke up, we had a serenade session, tradition. There was a lot of singing, and i listened. I was struck as if ''The Nearness of You'' was meant for me [sweet conversation,etc.]. My head sunk, quietly breathing and near paralyzed. I bid the group good night, but not daring to raise my head. I was scared to look and know that it was all in my mind...perhaps, it was all in my mind after all. He never answered the only letter I sent i did not sign it..and yet there are times when i can still see in my mind our first encounter...too dear to lose, too sweet to last.....[ a flare, Spock?]

6:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love the poem since my younger days until now..i related every line to my experiences in love and life..the poem itself is Beyond Forgetting..thanks Dr. Rolando Carbonell

3:34 PM  

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