Literary Analysis of Amado V. Hernandez’s
“Isang Dipang Langit”
(An Arm’s Length Piece of the Sky)
By Manuel M. Avenido, Jr.
MA in Literature
Cebu Normal University
December 04, 2010
Philippines is gifted of numerous remarkable writers (fictionists, poets, essayists, dramatists, etc.) whose masterpieces still echo through ages. From Balagtas to Rizal to Nick Joaquin and even to the writers in this postmodern time, our country is at par in richness of literature to that of other countries.
For three centuries of colonization by Spain, our country has produced myriad literary writings with every drop of bloods and every life offered by our forefathers. History would say that ...view middle of the document...
He won the Philippine Commonwealth Award for a nationalist historical epic, Pilipinas, in 1939 and his collec-tion of mainly traditional poems, Kayumanggi, won in 1940.
His acquaintance with the guerillas from the HUKBALAHAP (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon) is
said to influence his ideals on communism. He played an active role in promoting freedom and equality for the Filipinos in the 1940’s and 50’s. Due to his vigilant effort in uplifting the rights of the Filipinos, he was imprisoned at the New Bilibid from 1951 to 1956 where he wrote “Luha ng Buwaya” and “Mga Ibong Mandaragit.” Hernandez wrote several poems, short stories, plays, and essays. To name a few of his works: poems - “Sariling Hardin” (My Own Garden), “Isang Dipang Langit” (An Arm’s Length Piece of the Sky), “Bartolina” (Solitary Confinement), “Kung Tuyo Na ang Luha Mo Aking Bayan” (When Your Tears Dry Up, My Country); short stories – Walang Lunas (No More Remedy) and Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas (Fly in a Glass of Milk); plays – Hagdan sa Bahaghari (Stairway to the Rainbow) and Ang mga Kagalang-galang (The Vene-rables); and essays – “Si Atang at ang Dulaan” (Atang and the Theater) and “Si Jose Corazon de Jesus at ang Ating Panulaan” (Jose Corazon de Jesus and Our Poetry).
Viewing the Formalistic Style
Formalism as an Objective theory focuses on the content and the elements present in a literary text. Amado V. Hernandez, as a remarkable poet, followed the formalistic style on his poem “Isang Dipang Langit” (Muntinlupa Prison; April 22, 1952):
Ako'y ipiniit ng linsil na puno I am held by an evil leader
hangad palibhasang diwa ko'y piitin, seeking to cage my thoughts
katawang marupok, aniya'y pagsuko, a body weak, he says, is surrender,
damdami'y supil na't mithiin ay supil. emotions suppressed, advocacy hindered.
Ikinulong ako sa kutang malupit: I am kept in a cruel place:
bato, bakal, punlo, balasik ng bantay; rock, steel, bullets, ferocious guards;
lubos na tiwalag sa buong daigdig isolated from the world
at inaring kahit buhay man ay patay. alive, treated as dead.
Sa munting dungawan, tanging abot-malas From the little window, my sole consolation
ay sandipang langit na puno ng luha, is an arm's length piece of the sky, full of tears,
maramot na birang ng pusong may sugat, a paltry handkerchief to dress a wounded heart,
watawat ng aking pagkapariwara. flag of my misfortune.
Sintalim ng kidlat ang mata ng tanod, Sharp as lightning are the guards' eyes,
sa pintong may susi't walang makalapit; at the gates, with keys, no one can go near;
sigaw ng bilanggo sa katabing moog, the scream from a nearby cell
anaki'y atungal ng hayop sa yungib. resembles a cave animal's howl.
Ang maghapo'y tila isang tanikala Days pass like a chain
na kala-kaladkad ng paang madugo dragged along by bloody feet,
ang buong magdamag ay kulambong luksa the nights are a blanket of sorrow
ng kabaong waring lungga ng bilanggo. ...