CAHSS Faculty Articles

Angela Manalang-Gloria: Alive in Both the Ice and the Fire

Publication Title

Philippine Studies



Publication Date



Of all the predominantly prewar poets, Angela Manalang-Gloria has struck many readers as perhaps the most enigmatic. Gemino Abad, one of the premier critics of Philippine poetry, credits her with "some of the finest love poems in Filipino poetry" (71), an impression that has lingered since her early works and, certainly, has persisted mostly because of her early works. That it should be so is hardly surprising, granted the level to which she took the subject of love:

Delilah, Heloise, Jezebel, Helen, Francesca, Magdalen-allusions to these women in her love poems give them a mythic scale that is imposing and impressive. Not for Angela the subdued albeit passionate tone of some of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnets that speak of a love that meets the level of each day's quiet need. For a high romantic like Angela-the-poet, love was grand passion or nothing (Manlapaz 38).

In the early going, it is no wonder that T. Inglis Moore could conclude that "Mrs. Gloria is our Sara Teasdale--sweet without being sickly, melodious, and charming" (467)





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