Poetry in English came into its own only with the Commonwealth. The lyricism and psychological realism of Jose Garcia Villa, allied with his mastery of the language, established his reputation both in the Philippines and abroad. Angela Manalang Gloria is another maverick in poetry that used free verse and talked about illicit love in her poetry. Poets Aurelio S. Alvaro, Zulueta da Costa, Guillermo Castillo and Oscar de Zuñiga sang of love and of nature, while Nick Joaquin wrote on traditional themes of national and religious concern.

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