HomeFEU English and Literature Journalvol. 4 no. 1 (2010)

Platonic Undertones in the Love Poems of Ophelia A. Dimalanta

Ferdinand Lopez

Discipline: Literature, English



The poet Ophelia Alcantara - Dimalanta has always been referred to by critics and teachers alike not only as the high priestess of Philippine poetry in English during the Post-war period, a title that was likewise enjoyed by Angela Manalang - Gloria during the Pre-war times, but as the erotic poet of her generation, whose poems celebrate the pleasurable encounters of the human body in all its glorious sensuality. The term “erotic” has always been associated nowadays with the mundane, the instinctive, and the physical, obliterating all references to the nobler, exalted, and the sublime aspects of love. 

This paper attempts to recuperate the term “erotic” from its negative valence by interrogating the undercurrents of the Platonic discourse on “eros” exemplified in the love poems of Ophelia Dimalanta.

He is a poet, and he is also the

Source of poesy in others

…At the touch of him

Everyone becomes a poet

- Symposium