Saturday, December 19, 2015

One Man's Maple Moon: Time’s Fingers Tanka by Alegria Imperial

English Original

if you hear a fish sigh
please let me know
the meanings that escaped
through time’s fingers

Atlas Poetica Special Feature: Geography and the Creative Imagination, 2014

Alegria Imperial
(Editor's Note: Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, a fishing town in the northernmost western edge of the Philippine archipelago, stages the Baca-Bacarra Festival.)

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Alegria Imperial’s haiku for Haiku Foundation’s 2012 Haiku Competition was Commended in the traditional category. She has also won honorable mentions in the 2007 Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Festival Invitational Haiku and her tanka adjudged Excellent, 7th International Tanka Festival Competition 2012. Her poetry have been published in international journals among them A Hundred Gourds, The Heron’s Nest, LYNX, Notes from the Gean, eucalypt and GUSTS. Formerly of Manila Philippines, she now lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

1 comment:

  1. L1 establishes the setting with a rich history while the employment of 2nd person narration in L2 effectively draws the reader into the poem as a pseudo-participant who is immersed (as indicated by the phrase, "hear[ing] a fish sigh)in exploring and grasping the "meanings that escaped/through time’s fingers" (Ls 4&5).

    Note: Below is excerpted from "Festivals: The Bac-Bacarra Festival," which can be accessed at

    The Bac-Bacarra Festival started in 2005 is a heritage that awakened the love and passion of every Bacarreño to revive and preserve the richness of their culture and traditions. The legendary word “bac-bacarra” is specie of freshwater fish abundant in the river during the 15th century where town got its name by a Spanish soldier who passed by the place.

    The highlight of the festival is the conduct of the Bac-bacarra Street Dancing, a legendary dance, which depicts the history of the town, and the traditional thanksgiving to the abundant fish catches to the patron Saint Andrew the Fisherman. Fishing industry is well-known in the locality where the fish products have quality taste and high valued.