Title: Sustained Moment of Insight in Simeon Dumdum’s if I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Hope Yu, University of San Carlos, Philippines
A rich structure of Filipino beliefs about animals inspires this paper to compare them with poetry, particularly, the poetry of the contemporary Cebuano writer, Simeon Dumdum Jr., which, in a very unusual discourse, suggests an extraordinary level of perception into the nature of the relationships between people and animals. Dumdum’s recent poetry collection, If I Write You This Poem, Will You Make It Fly (2010), embodies a practice of the artistic incorporation of birds, and this praxis offers a measure against which to assess the abundant list of birds in the Philippines. Dumdum, being one of the most attentive artistic “employer” of birds – and his use of the winged creatures, epitomizes an ideal point on the range of an animal-centered aesthetic. In describing my study of Dumdum, I will also attempt to approach the broad questions of why and how poets use animals: what it means when we write about animals, and what implications (positive or negative), rendered from an ecocritical lens, attend the production and understanding of such poetry.
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