The Automatic Glass Door and Other Poems. By Manuel A. Viray. Manila: Kalikasan P, 1991. Pp. 96.
Department of Literature and Modern Languages
The Dalhousie Review
A casual, preliminary glance at the poems in this volume might mislead a reader into seriously underestimating the achievement of Manuel A Viray. The twin vertical shafts of letters in "Elevator," for instance, might seem to be vestigial remnants of the e.e. cummings/Jose Garcia Villa generation of free verse experimenters-until, that is, the reader perceived the ironic emblematic rendering of "a legless Vietnam/veteran in a wheelchair/a girl in green miniskirt." Again, Viray's stylistic tic of listing the exact time of completion not only of a poem but also of each successive draft (e.g., "10:03 a.m./Saturday/January 20, 1990" for "Green") might appear to be either self-parody or eccentricity, but in fact this practice dovetails with Viray's other methods of carefully crafting the structure to suit the content: he is as precise as "1 0:03 a. m." suggests, and the succession of times and dates is in consonance with his constant use of catalogues and lists.
Grow, L. M. (1993). The Automatic Glass Door and Other Poems. By Manuel A. Viray. Manila: Kalikasan P, 1991. Pp. 96.. The Dalhousie Review, 73 (1) Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/shss_facarticles/136