Book Launch of The Poet Learns to Dance (The Dancer Learns to Write a Poem)
Text by Denver Ejem Torres
Photos by Pristine Besinga
IS it possible for a person to go mad about poetry?
And if you must ask about the severity, as in how crazy can a person get over a poetry? I think Ricky de Ungria’s blurb to this latest collection of poems by poet extraordinaire, Simeon Dumdum Jr. will help us understand. De Ungria, a man of good reputation and a person of consequence, is willing to undo himself in exchange of the delight he would get from Dumdum’s verdict in verse.
De Ungria swore: Day by day, the temptation is just growing stronger for me to commit a crime in Carcar or Talisay in Cebu so that when the reckoning comes, I will get to hear Judge Simeon Dumdum Jr. render his opinion on and judgment of my case and I alone of everyone else standing in his sala that very morning will recognize the easy lope of pentameters in his sentences, the playfulness with internal rhymes and end-stopped and enjambed lines, the special clarities of his everyday images, the carefully wrought repetitions that would unveil its structure as sestina or villanelle, and his warm wit that encapsulates what it crystallizes, and I would be telling myself, above the uproar on the death sentence upon me, that my deed was well worth the pleasure of hearing the verdict unerringly versed before me and danced to in my mind. That is how dangerous art can become — like the very law itself.
Last April 9, fans, friends and family of Simeon Dumdum Jr. gathered at The Cube Wing of SM Seaside City Cebu to attend the much-awaited launch of his 7th poetry book titled The Poet Learns to Dance (The Dancer Learns to Write a Poem). This latest book of Dumdum is published by Ateneo de Manila University Press and is available both in forms print and e-book.
The launch was attended by important names in the Cebu literary community. Spotted in the event were WILA writers: Shane Carreon, Johanna Michelle Lim and Haidee Palapar, among others. The doyennes of Bisdak writing were also present: Erma Cuizon and Erlinda Alburo.
Shane Carreon, an award-winning poet and fictionist, while emceeing, admitted in an ad lib that she stalks the judge via Facebook. She, too, is crazy about Dumdum’s poetry that she juggles: writing, teaching and stalking the man’s poem-posts.
I confess that I too am crazy about Dumdum’s poetry. I can’t get enough of his poems that are always dressed to the nines. His poems have their dancing shoes on, always ready, at the music’s cue to hit the dance floor — a pure entertainment to the reader’s intellect and imagination.