Ado­nis Du­rado: a peek at a poet's soul

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Lit - Text: Deneb R. Batu­can Week­end Writer

With wit as sharp as Arya Stark’s Nee­dle, Ado­nis Du­rado has right­fully mas­tered the art of evok­ing emo­tion through a short stack of care­fully con­structed phrases. His words are bit­ing in a joc­u­lar sense, but al­ways with an af­ter­thought — a soul, per­haps his.

Ca­reer-wise, Ado­nis is an in­ter­na­tion­ally awarded graphic artist and il­lus­tra­tor and has helped in launch­ing and re­design­ing many mag­a­zines and news­pa­pers in Europe, Mid­dle East, Africa, in­clud­ing SunS­tar Cebu and SunS­tar Week­end. But he has al­ways bears a pas­sion for po­etry, more specif­i­cally, the balak.

It was dur­ing col­lege when Ado­nis re­al­ized he had an inkling for po­etry that he started to write se­ri­ously. He chose Ce­buano as the lan­guage for his po­ems since for him, he has the mas­tery of the lan­guage, more so than English or Ta­ga­log. “For me, it’s in­trin­si­cally ono­matopoeic. I also find it adapt­able and easy to bend,” he said.

Ado­nis has re­ceived many ac­co­lades for his po­etry over the years, in­clud­ing an Em­manuel La­caba Prize for Ce­buano Po­etry awarded by the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Cul­ture and the Arts. To date, Ado­nis has four Ce­buano po­etry books to his name: Dili Tanan Mata­gak Ma­hag­bong (2008), Min­ugbo Alang sa Mugbo og Kali­pay (2009), Lisay sa Bu­gan (2016), and, launched last Au­gust 9, Pahi­n­un­god sa Di Hin­tung­dan.

“Each book pur­sues var­i­ous themes or con­ceits. If ever there’s sim­i­lar­ity, per­haps read­ers will no­tice that I have been very con­stant in my ap­proach to po­etry — I ex­per­i­ment and ex­ploit var­i­ous po­etic tech­niques,” he said. Ex­per­i­ment and ex­ploit he does with his fourth po­etry book Pahi­n­un­god sa Di Hin­tung­dan, which con­tains four chap­ters, each con­tain­ing 15 po­ems. “For the Faith­less” is about ars po­et­ica or the art of po­etry; “For the Speech­less” is about lan­guage; “For the Hu­mor­less” is about hu­mor; and “For the Worth­less” is about life’s mean­ing, irony and para­dox.

Look­ing at each chap­ter of Ado­nis’ new­est book, it con­tains four things that the writer has of­ten writ­ten about: the art of po­etry, lan­guage, hu­mor and life it­self. These are things that has given him inspiration, themes that have driven him to write snip­pets of words — pow­er­ful words.

“Some­one said that po­etry is the lan­guage of the soul. Well, I sub­scribe to that,” he said.

And that he does. With more books to come from Ado­nis Du­rado — two are in the pipe­line, he said — there is more of his soul for him to bare to the world. His pend­ing new ad­ven­ture to the US for a grad­u­ate study at the Ohio Univer­sity would prob­a­bly arouse mo­ti­va­tion for new po­etry from him. There is no stop­ping a man as pas­sion­ate as he is for his craft.

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