by Aileen Ibardaloza
A torn rosary, in Filipino burial tradition, signifies the broken cycle of death. In the genre of Prose Poetry, Eileen R. Tabios’ The Thorn Rosary breaks the peripherality not only of Filipino/Filipino-American post-colonial concerns, but also of the Filipina as forgotten poet, healer, storyteller and epic hero.
Thomas Fink, in his Introduction, observes that
the transcolonial poet looks toward the day when the Philippines will overcome the imprint of colonialism and the Marcos regime; assertion is the first step in imagining what exceeds the “music”/”poetry” of (post)colonialism: “I break this music’s shackles. My name is Eileen and I will not be jailed inside a poem.”
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