Franco Coralde Sangreo

emanilapoetry: What draws you to express yourself through poetry and what drew you to poetry in the first place?

Franco: I used to collect clippings of good poems in magazines of newspapers then. I even re-write others works in my collection logbook contentedly reading them from time to time for the reason that I’m fascinated by how poets rhyme and play the words. These are the reasons why I’m drawn to poetry.

When my thesaurus borrower lost my book, I feel like I lost a treasure. Instead of wallowing too long remembering the lost book, an idea popped up. Why not write my heart out in poem?

So the very first poem I wrote on a traffic jammed Nova-Bagong Silang route in January 29, 1999 was entitled “Pagpapahalaga sa Aklat”, a lamentation on that lost thesaurus. From that point on, poem serves as my breather or outlet.

emanilapoetry: How do your current posts compare with the first poem you published on emanilapoetry?

Franco: Actually, I nearly lost my potential to grow in poetry until I find Emanilapoetry. I can say that my current posts are better now than the very first posted poem through the help of some avid critic who indirectly help me grow.

emanilapoetry: As you are so attracted to words, how do you feel about the way language is being used in today’s world?

Franco: There is unlimited freedom in how language is being used today. Some poets invent their own form now using even the spacing to introduce fresh ideas.

emanilapoetry: One emanilapoetry member once commented: “Pag mas marami ang nahihikayat maging makata sa isang bansa ay mas yumayabong ang kultura ng bansang iyon.” In what way or ways can poetry enrich a nation’s culture?

Franco: When I was encouraged to write poems, I was able to write also in my Bikol mother tongue. “Mamundoong Amorseco”(Lonely Amorseco) was born which led me back to my own Bikol literary form like “Tigsik or Tirigsikan ” which means “Toast”.

It is about the culture of Bikolanos then to rhyme while drinking in an event or gathering. This form is like the rengahan in Emanilapoetry. It was a dying culture (like the balagtasan) revived again. There is now Tirigsikan sa FB(Facebook). Thanks to Emanilapoetry, who unknowingly was able to help me discover my own culture.

emanilapoetry: Any advice you have for those who want to have their hands on poetry?

Franco: My advice to budding writers is to just write, write & write. Do not be over conscious on how your poem will look like. Using free verse at start; write down what you feel, what you saw and what you’ve experienced. Then revise, revise & revise. Arrange it later on. Wherever you go, bring your tickler with you or use the notes section of your cellphone to jot down every idea that pops up. Last but not the least, read a lot about poetry. Those will certainly help.

emanilapoetry: Thanks Franco for sharing with us your thoughts.

More about Franco Sangreo.