The power of suggestion

By: Jose B. Maroma, Jr.

WHEN one delivers a message expressing deep emotion, whether of joy or of sorrow, it’s not smart to be frank and blunt. It may sometimes be preferable to talk in parables where meanings of words and phrases take a while to sink in.

Just like good wine, doses of pleasure, or even of pain, must be taken in sips, not in gulps. I want to share three items from my collection of memorable passages couched in inhibited but beautiful prose – the first one from a popular song, the second from literature, and the third from legend.


From the popular song “GREENFIELDS”


Greenfields are gone now

Parched by the sun

Gone are the valleys

Where rivers used to run

Gone with the cold wind

That swept into my heart

Gone with the lovers

Who let their dreams depart


There are no loud sounds of wailing or whining, just simple words muffling the sobs of aching heart. Sad but soothing, tugs at the heartstrings.


From “A SONG TO CELIA” by Ben Johnson


Drink to me only with thine eyes

and I will pledge with mine

Or leave a kiss but in the cup

and I will not look for wine


An allegorical and exquisite tribute which will melt any lady’s heart.

From a legend, one of my favorite one-liners:


It is said that when King Solomon first met Sheba at dinner, he did not overwhelm her with flattery. Instead, he bent over and whispered to her gently and simply said, “Sheba, I want to know you.”


Ah, the power of suggestion!

It may be wiser in some instances to bare feelings in subdued language. There is thrill in unravelling a mystery. Reality is dull, what is exciting is the anticipation. Some men prefer to see a woman in a sack dress because they get a kick out of guessing what’s inside the sack.


The author is a retired civil engineer from Cabatuan, Iloilo. He likes to spend his time reading and writing on the burning issues of the day