Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav: A Book Review

loveandmisadventureI do love reading  poems, but  I am not a certified poet; nevertheless, I can write one whenever I get down, or have an epiphany or sudden insights into something.

Writing poems is an art. It is an emotional   way of human expression, but some  poems are obvious while some  are latent. So, the good benefits it can give to us is   emotional catharsis; it is a good way for us to relieve  stress.

Love is the common theme of poems which are  apparent in works of  some famous poets such Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy- you name it.

This is Lang Leav’s book debut  – a collection of poems which all deal with the stages of LOVE:  Misadventure, Circus of Love, and  Love based on her personal experience.

However,  most of the readers on Goodreads  at the very least  have given it a thumbs down; they did not care about giving it 1 star which means I did not like it as the rating system on Goodreads. Unclear  about their reasons, but I surmise that , since I gave it a try, maybe  the problem about  her poems is that they are  superficial as in shallow, as if even an elementary student can write such poems. ( I am sorry to put it.)  Her prose is not as creative enough to move or inspire  a down-to-earth reader who may have never been head over  heels in love as other famous poets’.  Most of her poems are short  , just nothing; you might not feel nor imagine anything. In fact, you might end up finding them childish  or puerile which  can add to the fuel of your disappointment since the author herself is an adult. Nevertheless, there are a few  long and remarkable though. By the same token, her book is too feminist, fit for young   female readers, notably she has some cute  and fairy-like illustrations of a “kikay” (chick).

On the contrary, I came to the realization that reading poems in any forms or structures  are not that easily comprehensible at all; we all have different perspectives. In other words, there are many beholders in the world. We may not be sure of how we understand the poems we read as they are unless they are all crystal-clear in their words. Bear in mind that   poems  could be enigmatic or  euphemistic.

Thus, what is the advice to us readers whenever we read something beyond our understanding? Read between the lines. This superannuated  cliche is  absolutely  applicable to  us readers whenever we do not get at what an author tries to drive at, notably to reading poems just the likes of Leav’s. Read between the lines. You may not get at the fact that what Leav intends to express in  her poems are all about LOVES. Read between the lines. Admit it, although the prose of the short poems   is simple, but you still couldn’t get  the meanings behind them. If so, re-read and ponder over them.  Read between the lines. Not all poems should be par excellence. Some famous poets  do likewise. Try to read the poems  by E. E. Cummings. You might cringe at them too, but still  they are widely-read.

In the end, I want to be subjective for  giving it 1 star. Let me be in your conspiracy, fellas!  Simply because her poems are not my cups of tea; I prefer  love  poems that  could make me do a somersault  like Danton Remoto’s and J. Neil C. Garcia’s erotic poems. (laughs) Don’t be green-minded, buddy! ^_^   How about Marcelo Santos III’s a la poetic quotes or the beloved Senator Miriam Defensor  Santiago’s cracking pick-up lines?  In foreign poems, aside from E.E. Cummings’s I have mentioned above, how about Thomas Hardy’s, Emily Bronte’s, and Emily Dickinson’s compelling poems? Their poems are “hugot na hugot”.

Maybe I’ve been borne upon the  literary  standards of poem or upon the award-winning poems I have been taught since elementary.  Uh-oh, enough said! Any genres  can be praiseworthy. ^__^

Rating: 1/ 5 stars ( I did not like it.)

Stupid is Forever by Miriam Defensor Santiago: A Book Review

This is my review of the best-selling  Stupid is Forever by  beloved Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago that I wrote on Goodreads  in 2014  prior to her sequel Stupid  is Forevermore.

miriamTo my GR friends,

The woman in the paperback pointing both her forefingers at each side of her forehead is the author herself, Miriam Defensor Santiago, our very own Filipino senator- politician, Ramon Magsaysay awardee- equivalent to Nobel Prize- for her moral leadership in cleaning the graft-ridden government agencies. She is not only well- known for her brave character but also for her sense of humor and witty remarks, which endeared the Filipino youth and is absolutely absent among politicians in the Philippines. To know her more, you can read all about her in the Wikipedia.

This book is a collection of the beloved senator’s jokes, one-liners, pick-up lines, comebacks, and speeches.

As an avid fan of the beloved senator, I always keep track of her personal and political life through magazines, newspapers, especially through her official website. Gee, I must be enchanted by her so-called “Miriam Magic”. Thus, for an arm chair reader , there is nothing new to this book. I am almost familiar with her epigrams and speeches. So , I was almost close to giving it 1 star forgetting my passionate support for her. hahaha

Another thing that adds to my disappointment is the latent intention of the book. ( It’s just as well that it did not let me down. ) If I were a political analyst, I would opine that this book must be intended for political reasons. There are some parts the beloved senator expressing her presidential aspirations in 2016. For instance, at the end of the ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“…Her complete resume can be found at the end of this book.”

Usually, the senator is in the habit of bragging about the records of her academic excellence and professional achievements when she attempted to run in 1992, or whenever she locks horns with her political enemies. No doubt the title of the book bespeaks the beloved senator’s intellectual hubris.

In her resume, an anonymous writer seems to be putting her name on the pedestal. He/she briefly states her brilliant life as a law student in the Philippines and abroad, as a competent government official in the Congress. I find this part “apparently defensive”.

Despite the mesmerizing hidden political propaganda, I teased out the good intentions of the beloved senator, which predisposed me to giving it 4 stars. The beloved senator wants to educate voters about the incoming presidential election in 2016: She wants us to vote wisely . Reading it is like as though we listen to her speeches on the stump. But before that, she has to regale us with her pick –up lines to catch our full attention. At that time, all the kidding aside, we have to take her at her word seriously.

The book is divided into three speeches with different pick-up lines. Her first speech is on social media encouraging the students or all Filipinos to use social media as a weapon against any means of electoral fraud in 2016. The second part is the real meaning of leadership ( which caused me have a rude awakening) , how the youth should apply it to choosing our next leaders. Finally, of dreams , how it is not a “ mission impossible” to gain our shared goals.
All the rage at the end of her speeches is her inspiring poems she must have selected herself.

The beloved senator is an accomplished writer. She has written 19 books in law and social sciences. As far as I know, she is still finishing the new edition of her law book. Also, she has written two of her autobiographies. Alas, I have not read them yet. In fact, this book is the sequel to her well-received The Miriam Dictionary.

My hat is off to you ma’am. I may not know the real political circus in the Philippines, but whatever decision you will have made by 2016, your fans and I will absolutely support you. Mabuhay! ^_^

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

Stupid is Forevermore by Miriam Defensor Santiago : A Book Review

stupid-is-forevermore-cover_This is the sequel to   our  beloved Senator Miriam  Santiago’s Stupid is Forever ( 3 stars ) as  it was launched on her 70th birthday celebration on June 15. The title is still the same; it was only added with  the word ” MORE”  to imply that the beloved senator   has another sack  of jokes and epigraphs. But the color of the paperback  is now reddish as one of the common colors  of her attires she wears when she attends the senate meetings. As a rule, the contents of the books are more on her jokes  , epigraphs, and speeches which had been earmarked for this sequel. In the end, I find it somehow redundantly entertaining but worth reading in disguise.  Thus, I have been disappointed for the second time except  her short story , The Exorcism of the Ghost, an excerpt from her well-received then The Frabjous Days and other Short Stories.

In effect, if you are such an avid fan of the beloved senator  like me , obsessed with her  on a daily basis, wanting to know everything she does , it  may be in politics or in her personal life as though you are a cyber stalker  , you are undoubtedly  familiar with the contents  from  cover to cover. You have read all her witty jokes and political tirades, speeches ,  and her bio data just by means of internet access. Definitely, you  check  her website . Here you can read all the statements  she makes  in the press since she  became a senator. If you want another blown-by-blown details , you can visit the site of the Philippine Senate. There you can check the senator’s archives .  To pick the newspapers commentators’ brains  , just type  Miriam Santiago  and search it  by clicking News on Google or Yahoo. All the information you want to keep track of  is accessible in the internet. Tataaan! You are now undoubtedly a Miriam freak. ( laughs)

The pattern used in  writing this book is the same as the opinion I teased out of  her Stupid is Forever. First, before  she delivers her speech  on the stump, the senator as a rule will regale you with her witty jokes to break the ice. For sure, you will be knocked out off the aisle. Then, just  all the kidding aside, you will listen to her inspiring and educating speeches although a little steeped in political issues. Finally, she will leave us  some lines of quotes she must have selected herself. Her speeches I have read but still worth reading  have something to do with life.  

A  DATE  WITH DESTINY

Here I cottoned to William Arthur Ward’s quotes:

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.”

THE PARADIGM FOR HAPPY LIFE

Here I learned her philosophy:

“Life is a consequence of our moral choices.”  

What  sparked my interest is her preface and short story The Exorcism of a Ghost, a selected story in her autobiography The Frabjous Day. I have always wanted to read her autobiography as I was wondering how she is  as good at writing a story as she is witty at her speeches. To my astonishment, our beloved Senator Santiago’s intellectual hubris, indeed,  reflects in the above-mentioned short story. Now I understand. “ “Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life here“ ( laughs )

Her preface:

The Moron

See the Happy Moron,

He doesn’t give a damn!

I wish I were a moron –

My God! Perhaps I am!

-Anonymous-

I also opined in my review of her Stupid is Forever that the book is intended for her  hidden political agenda to run for presidential aspirations in 2016. Obviously, this book – in my humble opinion- still completely resembles the former ,  hyping  up her records of  academic excellence  and professional  achievements; at the same time, with some pictures of hers showing her aura of bold and moral character as well as her massive intellect in the legal fields.

The beloved senator has not been in the press for a few months as though she had faded into the night like Batman , nor has she been able to attend the senate sessions ( despite the fact that she has the highest number of bills passed in the higher congress.) In fact, she was not able to attend the  launching of this, her second book; rather , it was launched on the market on her 70th birthday.  She must still be struggling with her stage- 4 lung cancer as she is dog-determined to recover, for she might plan to run in 2016.

Dear our Beloved Senator:

Whatever your plan in 2016 is , we,  your fans, will always  give you our all-out support. But for the sake of your health, we had rather you did not plan to do so; we had rather you took a rest, enjoyed  in your 70’s  by spending time with your family and grandchildren , or sat in a rocking chair crocheting as you once joked before when asked whether you would run or not in 1992. Politics  as you are aware of is  dirty. We may not know your personal intention why you want to become president, but what you have  done for the Philippines is enough to awaken us, your disciples you have intellectually enlightened by means of your political idiosyncrasies  beyond  the hoi polloi ‘s understanding.

To look cool, it is about time you wrote your own literary piece  as what you wanted to do when you were still young. May be when you make one, it could be bound to being  a short list in any  international literary awards as what you flaunted  whenever you got into an international  event. ^^

Get well soon, our beloved Senadora. We, your fans , miss you a whole lot.

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It is ok. )