I Vialed the Universe by Leoncio P. Deriada
I vialed the universeAnd laughed at the concentrated Gods.But the Genie escaped with His halo of riddles.I pondered anew and unslept.Thoughts were strange with the strangeness of new towns.Thoughts were as vast as the unvialed God.I could not bottle or battle Him.There: I saw Him mark in the matutinal mistI surrendered.
- The author, Leoncio P. Deriada was born in Ilo-ilo City, raised in Davao and went to Ateneo de Davao University for his Bachelor degree and Xavier University (CDOC) for his Master’s Degree in English. He won 13 Palanca awards and now teaches in UP.
- To “vial the universe” would probably mean putting little emphasis or belittling those that are larger than you. In this case, the universe is a large expanse but the speaker manages to encase it in a little bottle.
- In my opinion, the poem is about regaining one’s faith.
- Concentrated means “focused; or to bring into 1 body.”
- The line, “And laughed at the concentrated Gods.” would somehow connote that the speaker tries to belittle the gods to prove his domination of his own life.
- The line, “But the Genie escaped with His halo of riddles.” Take note that a halo’s shape is circular and as a circle, it is unending. It is often used when referring to God, angel and the saints. “Halo of riddles” is a symbolic connotation for understanding religion– understanding God is difficult, almost enigmatic or riddle-like and trying to solve the mystery of God’s existence could be an unending task.
- Take note that the following pronouns begin with a capital H: “His“ (line 3), “Him“ (line 7) and “Him” (line 8 ). This is often used when referring to God (as often seen in religious literature)
- “Anew” means again; “unslept” means unskillled.
- “Matutinal” means something that occurs in the morning.
- In line 8: “There: I saw Him mark in the matutinal mist”, I believe this pertains to the dawn or the rising of the sun. In popular religious culture, the rising of the sun often connotes God’s presence or existence. It could also mean that “good” triumphs over evil or the realization of one’s faith, wherein one who has been kept in the dark for too long (one who has not believed in God for a long time) has regained his faith and now “sees the light”.
- When you “vial” the universe, you try to control your own life or attempt to be in control and ignore the need for religion or God. The speaker in the poem wants to declare his independence and he feels he is better than the Divine; however, the speaker may have felt invincible at first but he is still a human being and in the end, succumbs to the powers of those “larger” than him (AKA God).
- Another Analysis: the poem talks about Faith. At first, the person does not believe in God but later on, he realizes and encounters God’s existence and eventually surrenders to Him.
- Don’t kill me if my analysis is wrong 🙂 Feel free to leave out a few details if they’re too long.