Diary of Albert E. Holland

November 18, 1944

Nov. 18th

When the Committee saw the Commandant about an increased ration, he told them “You do not realize that Japan is fighting a total war – America and England are not. Every man, woman & child in Japan is fighting the war for our very existence – We do not care, therefore, whether you live or die.”

Frank at any rate!

The rumor about the relief ship is current again – Supposedly it is due next Monday (20th). And the rumor continues that there will be a representative of the International Red Cross

[Note: leaves numbered 153 and 154 are missing with no break in text]


on board – If the relief supplies do arrive hundreds of lives will be saved –

I have just finished the critical study of an anthology of poetry by Filipinos which a Mr. Siler wished to have published after the war. The poems (some 700) are in English – I thought 105 might be considered worthy of inclusion in such an anthology –

These poets are writing in a language for which there is no tradition in the P.I. Therefore, they use words which we would never use – E.g. multiplicious, etc. – They do not handle abstract themes at all well, and the best poems are the short lyrics dealing with some simple phase of daily life – the poems of Floresca are an exception – Anero, Aguado, Floresca, Tarrosa, Zeichieta – all write very well – and there is one – Estoncurbo – who does a remarkable job with the triplet – but this is virtuosity, not genius – Aguado’s “Pastoral” is one of the best –

How I wish I had my books and music here – And all of you to enjoy them with me –