Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Body Language

My Reading of “Body Language” by Isidro M. Cruz

"Poetry is as exact and concrete as sculpture, and the poet chooses words just as carefully as sculpture chooses chisels."

Isidro M. Cruz gave justice to this definition through his precise and humorous presentation of the desire, fear and priority of the woman in his poem. He gave life to the abstract words "desire", "fear" and "priority" by showing his readers the specific things the woman is doing and is willing to do in order to achieve one acting award.

In the desire of the woman to be physically attractive, she had "open-faced sandwich" to cut down on bread intake. Even though she was terrified at what the surgeon called augmentation, she was still considering the idea because the role she was auditioning for required a rumble in the mud among trainees in the police academy, and there was no way she could stand out, said her manager, without a buy-bust operation. In her quest to be a star and to be rich, she believed that a pout was she needed - lip enhancement then to go with the lipo and the facelift, as her manager would say, pay slip.

Betty La Fea/Ugly Betty, a popular TV series in the Philippines and some Spanish countries, has a close parallel to the humorous way of depicting how much we depend our lives with the superficial. In this TV series, Betty joined a reality TV contest wherein the prizes will be five million pesos and a plastic surgery. She tells people that she wants to win for the sake of saving his father from his illness. But deep inside her, she aims to become beautiful and sexy to get back of Armando, her ex-boyfriend whom she believes used her to save himself from the shame of losing his position as the president of Ecomoda. She also wants to shame those  people who insulted her and gave her miseries because she is ugly.

The poem and the TV series imply a concern only with the surface neglecting the substance and significance of being a  human. Just like how I understand what the poem “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Elliot points out:

    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar
    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion; 

The images and the words in the poems as well as the TV series made me feel sorry at what our culture had become. It reminds me of what Morrie, the professor in Mitch Albom’s novel Tuesdays with Morrie said, “We’re so wrapped up with egoistical things; career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks – we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?”

How to Build a Long-Lasting Fire Writing Poems from Your Life by Morrison, Carrol