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Kaperosa, “The Faceless Phantom”

Karl Constantine FOLKES 1935 (Portland)

She haunts their village.
Spritely dressed in long white robe.
Ibaloi maiden.

About this poem

A Filipino Legend: Legends, myths, folktales and fairytales have one thing in common. They are all universally represented and attested since the dawn of time, and are demonstrative of archetypal images and archetypes preserved in the collective unconscious of the human psyche, and serving as psychological oracles advising humanity of its strengths, its weaknesses, its failures, its achievements, and its enduring potentialities. This haiku poem, “Kaperosa,” depicts the legend of the ghostly figure of “The Woman in White,” popular in Filipino folklore among the Ibaloi tribes, an indigenous people of the Cordillera region, in the Philippines island of Luzon. The spritely maiden Kaperosa is typically and traditionally depicted as being faceless, reminding us, in some ways, of the Oneida Indian legend of the “No Face Doll,” a charming legend of the Haudenosaunee people, and which is really a cautionary tale about the virtues of self-effacement, serving as a paragon of humility, the quality of not claiming undue attention to oneself. In this regard, this tale seemingly departs from the meaning of the Filipino Ibaloi tale of Kaperosa who, during her lifetime, had been miserably demeaned and, as a ghostly sprite, now seeks attention, if not revenge. 

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Written on December 11, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on December 11, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes on October 27, 2022

4 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABC
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 77
Words 14
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 3

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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    "Kaperosa, “The Faceless Phantom”" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 9 Jun 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/115593/kaperosa,-“the-faceless-phantom”>.

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