I Went To The Forest To Find A Violin

Poem By Gilbert Pangyarihan

I went to the forest to find a violin;
I did not rest; I did not lean.
And lo! On a hill in Tanay,
I saw with a smile unspoilt trees still lie.
I saw two mighty Dungon trees
With wood despised by bees;
Oh, the base takes ten men to embrace!
One has a hawk’s nest on its crest.
I saw, I saw the black Ibano,
Good for the fingerboard,
And also the robust Da-o,
A haven for the bored.
Each has a meter in diameter.
I saw, I saw the pliant Kalantas
And also the pearly Almaciga –
For the violin belly, they’ll pass.
I saw, I saw the towering Antipolo,
Good for the back, neck and sides,
And also the sturdy Madre Cacao,
Good for the violin bow.
I saw, I saw the fair Agoho,
Good too for the violin belly,
And also the bloody Tindalo –
I should know,
For someone just used a saw.
I saw, I saw but did not saw
The thriving Lauan,
The triumphant Bagtikan,
And the noble Mulawin –
Remnants of the War of Darwin
And the vanity of man.
I went to the forest to find a violin;
I did my best but did not win,
For, alas, in the rest of Tanay,
I saw with a sigh
No more trees to sing a lullaby.

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