A stylistic analysis of jose maria sison

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This is a Stylistic analysis of Jose Maria Sison's poems. This a requirement given to us by our teacher in Stylistics. I do not know if this is a correct analysis since our teacher did not give comments on this and did not give us time to revise.

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A stylistic analysis of jose maria sison

  1. 1. A Stylistic Analysis of Jose Maria Sison‟s Poems Submitted to Dr. Claribel C. Concepcion Submitted by Simel M. Nano
  2. 2. A Stylistic Analysis of Jose Maria Sison‟s Poems I- INTRODUCTION A. The need of doing a stylistic analysis of the author and of his works In this stylistic analysis, Jose Maria‟ s poems entitled “ The Bladed Poem”, “ TheGuerilla is Like a Poet”, and “Sometimes the Heart Yearns for Mangoes” will beanalyzed. Being the best-known radical poet who became a political prisoner of theMarcos regime, his works are in need of stylistic analysis. It is because his works showthe literacy of Filipino in English, show his revolutionary ideas and deeds, and aresnapshots of his life as a Filipino. Jose Maria Sison‟s works show that Filipinos are literate of the English languageand know how to use it effectively. This is evident when he won the Southeast AsiaWRITE Award in 1986 in Thailand. This is why choosing his works for stylistic analysiswill make the Filipinos proud. Being an English instructor before in the University ofthe Philippines and having produced a whole volume of poems which was much laterset to music, Jose Maria Sison is worthy for a salute. His effective use of English isevident in his works that is why I chose his poems for a stylistic analysis. Doing astylistic analysis of Jose Maria Sison‟s works will tell the world that Filipinos should notbe undermined in terms of using the English language because even before, Filipinoslike Jose Maria Sison have excelled in using English. Furthermore, his works show his revolutionary ideas and deeds. During themartial law years, he used his works to show his disapproval to what is happening to thePhilippines. Therefore, his works should be analyzed so that readers will gain a deeperunderstanding of the history of the Philippines. Being the chairman of the CPP MilitaryCommission that founded the New People‟s Army on March 29, 1969 and being the co-founder of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on April 24, 1973 as anunderground united front organization against the Marcos fascist dictatorship, readerswill be able to grasp the significance of his works during the martial law years. The works of Jose Maria Sison are also snapshots of his life. The years of hisstruggle during the martial law years, his imprisonment, and his life abroad are evident
  3. 3. in the poems that he created. Through these poems, his life became visible to us.Through his works, his life became an open book for his works are expressions of hisstruggle as a Filipino. This is why his works like his poems should be analyzed in light ofstylistics so that the readers will be guided in understanding his works. In the long run, Maria Jose Sison‟s poems are chosen for my stylistic analysisbecause his works show that Filipinos before were effective users of English, show hisrevolutionary ideas and deeds, and are snapshots of his life as a Filipino. B. Gaps and Problems The poems that I chose for the stylistic analysis are created by Jose Maria Sison indifferent years and in different situations. Having this gap between years, it caused aproblem in my stylistic analysis because the style of the author in the three poemsdiffers. To bridge the gaps between the three poems, I will be using different approachesin analyzing the different poems. I will also connect the poems in the history of thePhilippines especially during the martial law years and the life of Jose Maria Sison. C. Linguistic Models or Devices to be Used in Analyzing the Literary Works In analyzing the poems of the Jose Maria Sison, I will be using the meter of the poem, sound symbolism, figure of speech, and symbols. D. Research Questions To guide my stylistic analysis of the three poems by Jose Maria Sison, my research questions are: 1. What is the style used the author in every poem? 2. What is the meaning of each poem? 3. What is the connection of the poet‟s poem to the significant events in the years that they were created?
  4. 4. E. Practical Benefits or Significance of my Stylistic Analysis Having the works of a Filipino poet analyzed, my stylistic analysis will benefit thestudents studying stylistics and literature and the Filipino authors. This stylistic analysiswill make the students studying stylistics and literature to appreciate the works of theFilipino poets and do their own stylistic analysis of other Filipino poets. Moreover, thisstylistic analysis will also help the Filipino poets to be known and for thir works to beappreciated.
  5. 5. II- METHODOLOGY In the poem “The Guerilla is Like a Poet”, the meter and the sound symbolism of thepoem will be analyzed. Using the meter of the lines of each stanza, I will see how theauthor organizad his poem and link its organization to the guerillla described in thepoem. This poem is created by the Jose Maria Sison in 1968 and looking back at thehistory of the Philippines, this poem is a snapshot of the situation of the Philppinesbefore. In using the sound symbolism, I wil analyze the meaning of the poem using itssound symbolism. The figures of speech in the poem will also be analyzed to gain thedeeper meaning of the poem. In the end, these findings will be collated for theconclusion. In the poem “ Sometimes the Heart yearns for Mangoes”, the figure of speech usedby the poet and the symbols used in the poem to represent something will also beanalyzed. The sound symbolism present in the poem will also be the basis in arriving atthe meaning of the poem. In the end, the findings will also be collated for theconclusion. The poem “ The Bladed Poem” will be analyzed through the use sound symbolism.After the analysis, the findings will be collated for the conclusion. A. THE GUERRILLA IS LIKE A POET 1. x x / x x / x /x The guerrilla is like a poet anapestic dimeter / x x / x x / Keen to the rustle of leaves dactylic dimeter X / x / The break of twigs iambic dimeter x / x / x / x The ripples of the river iambic trimeter X / x / The smell of fire iambic dimeter X x / x x x / x And the ashes of departure anapestic dimeter 2. x x / x x / x /x The guerrilla is like a poet. anapestic dimeter
  6. 6. x x / x x /He has merged with the trees anapestic dimeterx / x / x /The bushes and the rocks iambic trimeter x / x / x /Ambiguous but precise iambic trimeter / x / x / x / xWell-versed on the law of motion trochaic tetrameter x / x x / x / x xAnd master of myriad images. iambic trimeter3. x x / x x / x /xThe guerrilla is like a poet. anapestic dimeterx / x / xEnrhymed with nature iambic dimeter x / x / x xThe subtle greenery iambic dimeter x / x / x x / x / x xThe inner silence, the outer innocence iambic tetrameterx x / x x /The steel tensile in-grace anapestic dimeterx x / x / xxThat ensnares the enemy. anapestic monometer4. X x / x x / x / xThe guerrilla is like a poet. anapestic dimeter X / x x / x / x xHe moves with the green brown multitude iambic trimeter x x / x x / / xIn bush burning with red flowers anapestic dimeter x / x / x /That crown and hearten all iambic trimeter / x x / x / x xSwarming the terrain as a flood dactylic dimeter / x x / x / x / xMarching at last against the stronghold. trochaic tetrameter5.x / x / x x /An endless movement of strength iambic trimeterx / x x / x /Behold the protracted theme: iambic trimeter
  7. 7. x / x / x x / x / The people‟s epic, the people‟s war. Iambic tetrameter Simile- The guerrilla is like a poet The dominant sounds in the first stanza are: Voiced /l/ and /r/- referred as „liquids‟ and associated with the flowing , ripping qualities of water Voiceless fricatives /s/ and /∫/- soft hissing sounds Plosives /g/, /b/, /d/, /p/, /t/- percussive soundsThe dominant sounds in the second stanza are: Voiced /l/ and /r/ - referred as „liquids‟ and associated with the flowing , rippling qualities of water Voiceless fricative /s/- soft hissing soundThe dominant sounds in the third stanza are Voiceless fricatives /s/ - soft hissing sound Plosive /t/ and /t/- percussive soundsThe dominant sounds in the fourth stanza are: plosives /b/, /g/, and /d/-percussive soundsThe dominant sounds in the fifth stanza are: plosives /b/, /p/, and /d/B. Sometimes, the Heart Yearns for Mangoes 1. Sometimes, the heart yearns For mangoes where there are apples, For orchids where there are tulips, For warmth, where it is cold, For mountainous islands, Where there is flatland. 2. Far less than the home, And the flow of kith and kin, Unfamiliar and now familiar
  8. 8. Things and places triggerThe pain of sundered relations,Of losses by delays and default.3.Direct dialing, fax machines,Computer discs and video casettesAnd visitors on supersonic jets,Fail to close the gapBetween rehearsed appearancesAnd the unrehearsed life at home.4.There are colleagues and friendsThat make a strange land loveable.But they have their routines,Their own lives to live,Beyond the comprehensionAnd pertinence of the stranger.5.Those who seek to rob the exileOf home, kith and kin,Of life, limb and libertyAre the loudest to mock at himWho is helplessly at sea,Uprooted from his soil.6.The well-purposed exile continuesTo fight for his motherlandAgainst those who banished him,The unwelcomed exploiters of his people,And is certain that he is at homeIn his own country and the world.Personification- “ Sometimes the heart yearns”Alliterations kith and kin (2nd stanza) delays and default (2nd stanza) direct dialing (3rd stanza) lives to live (4th stanza) land lovable (4th stanza) Of life, limb and liberty (5th stanza)
  9. 9. The symbols used in representation of the Philippines: Mangoes, Apples, Orchids, Warmth, Mountainous Islands The symbols used in representation of Netherlands: Apples, Tulips, Cold, Flatlands The dominant sounds in the first stanza are: Fricatives /f/ and /s/- light friction of wind and breath The dominant sounds in the second stanza are: Fricatives /f/ and /s/- light friction of wind and breath Liquids /l/ and /r/- associated with the flowing , rippling qualities of water The dominant sounds in the third stanza are: Plosives /d/ and /k/- tapping, soft percussive sounds Fricatives /f/ and /s/- light friction of wind and breath Liquids /l/ and /r/- associated with the flowing , rippling qualities of water The dominant sounds in the fourth stanza are: Fricative /s/- light friction of wind and breath Liquids /l/ and /r/- associated with the flowing , rippling qualities of water The dominant sound in the fifth stanza are: Liquids /l/ and /r/- associated with th flowing , rippling qualities of waterThe dominant sound in the sixth stanza are: Fricative /s/- light friction of wind and breath Liquids /r/ and /l/ - associated with the flowing , rippling qualities of water.
  10. 10. C. THE BLADED POEM 1. Behold the bladed poem Tensile and razor-sharp Cold and glinting silver In the light or dark. 2. See how the blackbird Of a hilt flies Bedecked with pearls On the firm mobile hand. 3. Look at each face On the leaf of steel, The virile subtle flames, Images of incised gold. In the third stanza 4. On one face are toilers Varied with pike and ore, Crucible, hammer and anvil, Water and whetstone. 5. Plow and carabao on soil, The oyster in the sea, Carving and etching tools, Bowl of acid on a table. 6. On the other face Are the same workmen massed Upright and poised to fight Behind the radiant flag. 7. The uprising completes The figures of labor
  11. 11. And urges another surge With the well-versed weapon. 8. Grasp well the bladed poem And let it sing in your hands. This kampilan is a talisman Of the people in red headbands. The dominant sound in the first stanza are: Plosives /b/, /k/, and /d/-percussive sounds The dominant sound in the second stanza are: Plosives /b/, /k/, and /d/-percussive sounds The dominant sound in the third stanza are: The dominant sound in the fourth stanza are: The dominant sound in the fifth stanza are: The dominant sound in the sixth stanza are: The dominant sound in the seventh stanza are: The dominant sound in the eighth stanza are:III- RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONA. The Guerrilla is Like a Poet In the poem “The Guerilla is Like a Poet”, we can see that the poem has five stanzas. Each stanza consists of six lines except for the fifth stanza where there are only three lines. The meter of the poem in each line varies except in the first
  12. 12. line of the each stanza wherein the meter is the same. However, the first line ofthe fifth stanza is not the same to the other stanza. Seeing the disorganization of the meter of each line, we can conclude thatduring the time that the poem was written, the country is not also organized. Thepresence of guerrillas in the poem serves as a clue that there are disagreementsbetween the government and the people. That is why the meter also of each linedisagrees with each other. This is true because the time that this poem waswritten, Ferdinand Marcos was elected as the preseident of the Philippines andmany opposed on his administration. The repetition of the line “ The guerrilla is like a poet” in each stanza except inthe fifth stanza is an emphasis of the comparison between a guerrilla and a poet.The figure of speech used is simile. The position of the line which is in the firstline in each stanza shows that the line is given importance because it is thecentral idea of the poem. The rest of the lines in the stanzas are descriptions ofthe similarity between a guerrilla and a poet. In the first stanza, the dominant sounds /l/ and /r/ are liquids which aresuggestive of the sounds of the flowing river described in the poem. The river is aclue that the setting is in the forest where the guerrilla resides. The plosives inthe first stanza suggest the sound of the breaking of twigs and the rustling of theleaves. The voiceless fricatives /s/ and /∫/ are suggestive of the hissing soundproduced when someone wants silence. It matches the description of the guerrillaand the poet as a keen observer. The guerrilla who needs silence to be able tosense the rustling of twigs and the breaking of twigs done by the enemy in theforest. On the other hand, the poet is also a keen observer of the poem he/ she ismaking. In the second stanza, the poet and the guerrilla were again compared usingthe figure of speech which is simile. The presence of the voiced liquids and thevoiceless fricatives which is present also in the first stanza suggest that theguerrilla is on the same environment which is the forest. In this stanza, theguerrilla is similar to the poet of his ability to hide. The guerrilla in the forest is amaster of the forest and knows where to hide when the enemy comes. Just like apoet who writes a poem about his protest and hides the meaning of the poem sothat the enemy won‟t be able to comprehend easily. This is maybe true to JoseMaria Sison who writes poems that are not easily comprehendable by the enemy. In the third stanza, the poet and the guerrilla were again compared using thefigure of speech which is simile. The voiceless fricative /s/ is suggestive of thesilence of the guerrilla as he hides in the forest. In this stanza, the guerrilla is saidto have enrhymed with nature where there is silence. The coming of the plosivesin this stanza suggest of the impact of that silence to the enemy where they fallinto trap. The guerrilla is the same to the poet whose poems are known to be sosilent and light but the hidden meaning has a great impact to the enemy.
  13. 13. In the fourth stanza, the guerrilla and the poet where again compared. The presence of the plosives /b/, /g/, and /d/ are suggestive of the percussive sounds produced by the guerrillas as they marched in the terrain until they reach to a safe place. As they marched, they make sure that they were not noticed. This is also true to a poet who writes a poem carefully using good usage of language to hide the true meaning of his poem. In the last stanza, the guerrilla and the poet were no longer compared. However, the aim of the guerrilla and the poet were emphasized in this stanza. The presence of the plosives /b/, /p/, and /d/ in the stanza is an emphasis of the long-lasting theme about fighting the enemy which is the government. B. Sometimes the Heart Yearns for Mangoes This poem was written by Jose Maria Sison on the 3oth of March 1994. This is thetime of Sison‟s life were he was recognized as a political refugee by the highest Dutchadministrative court in Netherlands. The poem “Sometimes the Heart Yearns forMangoes” is his expression of how he missed the Philippines. The poem consists of sixstanzas with six lines having different meter. In the first stanza, the author uses personification in the line “Sometimes, the heartyearns”. He also uses symbols to represent the two countries which is the Philippinesand Netherlands. In representation of the Philippines he uses mango, orchids, warmth,and mountainous islands which are seen in the Philippines. On the other hand, he alsouses symbols that are found in Netherlands like apples, tulips, cold, and flatlands torepresent the place which is strange to him. Having the word “sometimes” and phrase“where there are”, the poet is telling us that living away from our own country is noteasy. It is telling us that even though there are things that will substitute to what we arefamiliar of, we will still miss those things. The dominant sound in the first stanza whichis the voiceless fricatives /s/ and /f/ which suggest light friction of wind and breath setsthe tone of the first stanza which is loneliness. The fricatives /f/ and /s/ is also suggeststhe sound of the sigh of the poet while writing the poem. In the second stanza, the presence of the fricatives /f/ and /s/ suggests thecontinuous tone of the poem which is loneliness. The liquids /l/ and /r/ is suggestive ofthe sea that separates his homeland and Netherlands. The alliteration of “kith and kin”is an emphasis of the poet‟s sadness because his family is away from him. It is followedby another alliteration “delays and default” which is also an emphasis of the result ofbeing away which caused him pain.
  14. 14. In the third stanza, the presence of the fricatives /f/ and /s/ which suggest lightfriction of wind and breath tells us that the tone of the poem is still sad because of thefricatives suggest the sound of the sigh of the poet. The liqiuds /r/ and /l/ are stillpresent because it suggest the sea that separates the poet‟s homeland and Netherlands.In this stanza the alliteration “direct dialing” is an emphasis of the things that the poetdid to connect to his family. This is why the plosives /d/ and /k/ are dominant becauseit suggest the percussive sound produced by dialing the telephone. However, the thingshe did fail to close the gap because at home the life is unrehearsed. In the fourth stanza, the poet explains why he loves the people in his homeland. Inthis stanza, the poet tells us that he also met friends and colleagues in Netherland whichmakes him love the new land. This is emphsized in the alliteration “land lovable”.However, dominant sound which is the fricative /s/ still creates sadness in the tone ofthe poem because it suggest the sound produced in the sigh of the poet. The reason forthis sadness is because the author noticed that they have their own lives. This isemphasized in the alliteration “lives to live”. This is the reason why he loves more thepeople in his homeland. In the fifth stanza, the alliterations “Of life, limb and liberty” and “ kith and kin” is anemphasis of the poets sadness because of being away from his country and of thedeprivation of his freedom. This is why he said that one should not seek to be away ofhis country because just like him, he felt helpless for being away of his homeland. The last stanza is teaching us of the loftiness of doing one‟s best to serve one‟s nativeland even from faraway shores. This is what Jose Maria Sison did while he is inNetherlands because he felt that he is in the Philippines if he will do things for hishomeland. C. The Bladed Poem This poem is organized into eighth stanzas with four lines. It was written by Jose Maria Sison in the year 1982 while he is i prison. In the firt stanza, the poem is described by the author as bladed. Being bladed, it was further described as having a sharp razor with cold and glinting silver. The blade can be found in a weapon and a symbolic importance is often attached to it. The weapon is a symbol of strength therefore a poem is also a weapon which is the strength of the poet.The plosives /b/,/k/, and /d/ is suggestive of the perscussive sound produced when the blade is sharpened. In the case of the poem, it is also sharpened through careful use of the language.
  15. 15. In the second stanza, the poem as a weapon is described as having a hilt decorated with pearls. The pearls in this stanza is a symbolism of the Philippines being the “ Pearl of the Orient Seas. This only mean that the bladed oem described by the poet is abput the Philipppines.CONCLUSION, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Form your conclusion and end with implications on the literary, research, pedagogical, and linguistic point of view. Five some recommendations for future studies on the works of either the same author or the same genre.

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