To the Man I Married by Angela Manalang-Gloria

Still can’t find my book. Who knew copying poems by hand would be useful someday?

To the Man I Married
Angela Manalang-Gloria

You are my earth and all the earth implies:
The gravity that ballasts me in space,
The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries
For food and shelter against devouring days.
You are the earth whose orbit marks my way
And sets my north and south, my east and west,
You are the final, elemented clay
The driven heart must turn to for its rest.

If in your arms that hold me now so near
I lift my keening thoughts to Helicon
As trees long rooted to the earth uprear
Their quickening leaves and flowers to the sun,
You who are earth, O never doubt that I
Need you no less because I need the sky!

I can not love you with a love
        That outcompares the boundless sea,
For that were false, as no such love
        And no such ocean can ever be.

But I can love you with a love
        As finite as the wave that dies
And dying holds from crest to crest
        The blue of everlasting skies.

Updated 27 July 2012. Thanks, V.


  1. I learned this poem during my first year of high school (1975) together with Elizabeth Barret Browning’s How Do I Love Thee. To The Man I Married’s part II became my favorite & I can recite it even in my sleep up to the present. I found this piece today because I recited the part II for my 5 years old grandson who asked me about my favorite poem, searched the poem & read the part I to him. Thank you for bringing me back to my romantic youth..)


  2. And sad, because the man she married, perished in World War II. From Wikipedia: “On March 11, 1945, her husband Celedonio and her son Ruben were attacked by a Japanese patrol in Alitagtag, Batangas. Though her husband died, Ruben was able to survive, yet his trauma had been so severe that he could not bring himself to recount the attack. This event left Manalang-Gloria a young widow with three children to support, which forced her to abandon writing and enter the abaca business, which she successfully managed.”


  3. I was in my 3rd yr high in Jose Abad Santos(Binondo) 1972, when my English teacher then Thelma Falcon recited this poem in the class with great emotion and gestures.


  4. the author of this poem is clearly,absolutely and amazing in love with her husband..I can’t believed that such honest and dedicated love exist …perhaps she was sad and lonely while writing this poem because of the sudden death of her husband…… but over all comment on the poem, the poem is amazingly done,the words that were used were all purely exaggeration about love,,,,,……for the people who believed in true love this poem is for you guys……… literally speaking its nicely done…hands of to you girl… :D


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