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Ol i go pinis

Village_alcester_trobriand_islands (galen_frysinger)RAYMOND SIGIMET

Ray’s Tok Pisin poem, ‘They’ve Gone’, considers the issue of people who leave their village homes to find work (and money) in Papua New Guinea’s cities and towns. But, he asks, who will remain to run the schools and courts, grow the food, catch the fish and make sure the rural coast and countryside, where seven million of PNG's eight million people live, will be looked after - KJ

Ol i go lo lukim win moni
Na lusim gutpla pasin lo rot
Bai husait nau givim skul na kot?

Ol i go lo lukim kala lait
Na lusim mun lait stap lo ples
Bai husait nau raun na bungim pes?

Ol i go lo lukim planti kar
Na lusim bus rot antap lo maunten
Bai husait nau wokim lek na bihainim gen?

Ol i go lo lukim bikpla sip
Na lusim kanu silip stap lo nambis
Bai husait nau pul na hanga lo pis?

Ol i go lo lukim kumul balus
Na lusim bus graun na pisin lo ples stap
Bai husait nau wokabaut na raun lo hap?

Ol i go lo Mosbi, Lae, Hagen
Na lusim ol kaikai pulap stap lo gaden
Bai husait nau wok na kaikai lo en?


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Raymond Sigimet

Hi Jenny - Abinun long you tu na tenkyu gen.

Your interest and thumbs up give me confidence in this idea of a resurgent contemporary PNG literature in recent years.

Much gratitude and acknowledgement is extended to Keith Jackson and the many friends on the PNG Attitude blog, as well as writer Phil Fitzpatrick, the Crocodile Prize Awards and local publishers like Jordan Dean of JDT Publications.

Your inclusion of this Tok Pisin poem and others that you hope to use in your lessons is a concrete boost to people like me who pen when issues, emotions or inspiration call us to record or recite (when we have the time to wait out this inspiration).

I hope that what you and ANU are doing will open the eyes of the PNG national government and the curriculum division of the education department to "look within" and incorporate works from PNG writers and poets into a country based curriculum for the language, literature and English lessons in PNG schools so PNG student can read the experiences of their own people and see using the eyes of their own people.

Of course, the literatures of the world and compositions of the greats will not be discarded but can be included as literature study of what great literary works look like.

Wantaim displa, mi laik tok tenk yu na abinun gen long yu.

Jenny Homerang

Apinun Raymond - Tenkyu tru! Thank you so much for giving your permission. Much appreciated. I will follow up on the other ones as well.

Your Tok Pisin poems are beautifully written reflecting pertinent issues facing our people and country in contemporary times. I will be including your poem 'Ol i go pinis' in my Week 11, Unit 12 lesson for my Tok Pisin students to recite and discuss.

I will include the others in all my courses. Well done on your important work and contributing to the literature of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific - keep it up!

Raymond Sigimet

Hi Jenny - Mi hamamas tru long ridim liklik toktok na tingting blong yu tete.

I'm glad that this poem resonated with you. I am also glad that Tok Pisin is now part of the ANU online courses which readers of PNG Attitude have been advocating.

Concerning your request, I gladly give you my permission to use this poem or other Tok Pisin compositions of mine as part of your Tok Pisin courses online.

Below are some links to some of my Tok Pisin compositions. All of which are published by Keith Jackson on the PNG Attitude blog and my poetry collection published by JDT Publications (Port Moresby) which can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Gutpela de nau long yu.





Jenny Homerang

Hi Raymond - Wantok, tenkyu tru long poetri bilong yu! Thank you very much for your evocative poem in Tok Pisin.

It raises a lot of significant questions including government policies to concentrate 'development' in biktauns and how we perceive 'place', 'culture' and 'development'.

I so much miss the light of the yellow moon over the Pacific ocean near my house I go home every so often from Canberra just to bask in its glory.

On another note, I would like to seek your permission to allow me to share your poem in my Tok Pisin online class which I teach at ANU.

I am looking for Tok Pisin poems and any literature in the language to help me develop Tok Pisin 3 and Tok Pisin 4 courses.

If any of you out there have written and would like to share your poems or stories in Tok Pisin I would be very grateful.

Tenkyu tru.

Raymond Sigimet

Thank you Phil, in using TP in poems recently, I found it also to be very evocative especially when TP poems are recited to an audience of TP speakers. Michael, thank you, your analysis and interpretaion is spot on. Paul, glad the poem spoke to you. And Joseph, rural PNG still continues to face challenges in accessing basic government services resulting in the continued stream of rural drift resulting in societal and associated problems. Thanks again all, much appreciated.

Joseph Digiben

Where is the investment in government services in rural homes?

Paul Oates

Resonates very strongly with me Raymond. Great poetry and message. Well done mate.

Michael Dom

"Ol i go lo lukim win moni
Na lusim gutpla pasin lo rot
Bai husait nau givim skul na kot?"

Keith suggests that line three is simplified for schools and courts, implying formal schooling and modern day village level courts.

But in the context of this poem, the verse and the particular Tok Pisin expression refers to more than schools and courts; it refers also to the learning about how to live and the listening to household and community grievances, i.e. this line speaks of the loss of people being raised under and resolving community issues by the traditional ways.

There are no wise elders around to teach the next generation, whom are not interested anyway.

They've left the good traditional ways behind, dumped their good customs along the roadside in a lustful journey for making money, profiteering off the place they left behind - like LNG landowners during the LNG umbrella benefit sharing exercise.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Enjoyed this one Raymond.

The image of an empty canoe left sleeping on the beach is very evocative.

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