You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

Hine e Hine

By Princess Te Rangi Pai (Fanny Howie)

E tangi ana koe
Hine, E Hine
Kua ngenge ana koe
Hine, E Hine
Kati to pouri ra
Noho i te Aroha
Te ngakau o te Matua
Hine, E Hine

E hari to moe moea
Hine, E Hine
Marama ahua
Hine, E Hine
I roto i to moenga
Mehemea he Marama
Ka tae mai te Reinga
Hine, E Hine


English translation of first verse

You are weeping
Little girl, darling girl
you are weary
Little girl, darling girl

Be sad no longer
There is love for you
in the heart of the Father
Little girl, darling girl

…and an alternative translation

Plaintive all through the night –
Hine, E Hine!
Weeping till morning light –
Hine, E Hine!
From my care why try to leap
There is love for you
Mother’s arms their strength will keep
Hine, E Hine!

See where there comes the morn
Hine, E Hine!
Long rays of early dawn
Hine, E Hine!
Shining to Reinga far
Where thy noble grandsires are
Nestle Aroha!
Hine, E Hine!

Seeing as it’s Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) as well as National Poetry Day, I have chosen a waiata (song) for my poem today.  It’s generally described as a lullaby, although I have also seen it described as a father’s lament for the loss of his daughter.  It was written by Fanny Rose Porter (Poata) – married name Fannie Howie – who was best known by her stage name, Te Rangi Pai or Princess Te Rangi Pai.  It is thought to have been written around 1928. The waiata will be best known to New Zealanders as the “Goodnight Kiwi” song, from the days when the end of television for the evening was announced by a cartoon kiwi and cat curling up together in a TV transmitter tower. 

More about Princess Te Rangi here:

and here

 Happy Poetry Day!

and you can hear Hayley Westenra singing it here:

Tuesday Poem

It’s film festival time in Wellington (yay!) and as usual, we are spoilt for choice. So far I’ve seen Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – a great doco about that ground-breaking comedienne; The Illusionist – a fabulous animated film about the friendship between a French magician and a naive young Scottish woman who thinks his magic is real (based on script by Jacques Tati); and, yesterday, the wonderful HOWL.

Photo from MDCarchives, Wikimedia Commons

HOWL is a great mix of the (acted) original performance of Allen Ginsberg’s poem in 1955, the story of his life around that time and the writing of the poem, a re-enactment of the obscenity trial (featuring Madmen‘s Jon Hamm) and an animation of the poem. Very well done. I could easily watch it again. It’s on again in Wellington tomorrow (Sunday 25th July) if you missed it.

And we have our tickets for next week’s Sam Hunt: Purple Balloon and other Stories which will be a nice lead-in to National Poetry Day (Friday 30th July). Loads going on – click here for the details Wellington has (amongst other things) a couple of open mics (Museum of City & Sea and the Newtown Public Library) and an interesting sounding event at Betty’s Bar in Blair St, from 8pm. Can’t wait!

A Nun Takes The Veil

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Tuesday Poem

Another Hopkins poem from me this week. I love the stillness of this poem and the notion of retreat.

This Sunday 18th July 4pm – 6pm
at the Ballroom Café, Newtown, Wellington
(corner of Riddiford Street & Adelaide Road)

Guest Poets are:

Simone Kaho
Hinemoana Baker
Teresia Teaiwa

Hinemoana Baker is a Maori writer & musician with tribal links to Taranaki, Horowhenua & Otakou Peninsula. Her 2nd book of poems, koiwi koiwi (VUP), will be launched at Poetry at The Ballroom

Simone Kaho, a poet with Tongan roots, has performed at Poetry Live in Auckland. Her work has been published in Live Lines III.

Teresia Teaiwa, an African American Banaban I-Kiribati who was born in Hawai’i & raised in Fiji, has had work published in Sidestream and in 2008 produced a solo CD, I can see Fiji.


Music from Hinemoana Baker & Chris White, open mic & more…

To A Young Poet

Time cannot break the bird’s wing from the bird.
Bird and wing together
Go down, one feather.

No thing that ever flew,
Not the lark, not you,
Can die as others do.

Photo by Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) Wikimedia Commons

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950) was an American poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (for The Harp-Weaver, and Other Poems).  She was also known for her many love affairs, with both women and men.

See other Tuesday poems hereTuesday Poem

OK, this photo was not taken in Palmerston North; it was taken in Iceland last year, and Palmy last Wednesday was noticeably warmer than Wellington, but this was the photo on the flyers, so I have used it here.

I had a great time at Stand Up Poetry, where I was July’s guest poet. I got there just in time for the 7pm start, having driven up from Wellington after work.   Love those rows of lights across the streets at Shannon.

It was my visit to the impressive Palmerston North library (after driving round the Square and failing to find it, I stopped and asked for directions).  It’s in a lovely old building with an interior designed by Ian Athfield and it sports some similar features to Wellington’s public library, like the exposed air ducts.  There’s a lot of glass, steel and stairways and it feels like a loved and well-used space.  After the poetry group, a group of young teenagers settled in for the night, for a school holidays basement lockdown.

Stand Up poetry is a regular monthly event at the library, organised by two great poets: Johanna Aitchison and Helen Lehndorf.  There was a small, but dedicated group of poets and poetry-lovers on the night I went, some of whom had driven in from Wanganui and Shannon.  

The evening started with an open mic – 10 slots of 5 minutes each.  I was very impressed with the readers on the night, with subject matter that ranged from Rarotonga to celibacy, from gnomes to drunkenness.  This was followed by a cuppa and a biscuit, then I was on for around half an hour and got to chat to a few folk afterwards.

Big thanks to Helen and Johanna for inviting me, to our lovely librarian hosts, and to everyone who came along to read/listen.

If you’re ever in the vicinity on the first Wednesday of the month, check it out.

Tuesday Poem

I’m the guest editor on the Tuesday Poem blog this week and I’ve chosen a poem by Stephen Crane, which you can read here (after it goes up at 12:01am):

Tuesday Poem

Stand Up Poetry

I will be reading at Palmerston North’s regular poetry event this Wednesday:

Open mic poetry evening with special guest Wellington Poet Janis Freegard.  Janis recently won third prize in the Manawatu Festival of New Arts competition.  She also writes fiction and won the BNZ  Katherine Mansfield Award in 2001.  Poets bring 5 minutes of your best writing to share. Poetry lovers come and enjoy the words.

Date: Jul 7, 2010
Hours: 7 pm
Location: Sound & Vision Zone, Ground Floor, Central Library



Janis on Twitter

Tuesday Poem

Tuesday Poem


July 2010

Blog Stats

  • 69,651 hits

Facebook photos