The special place of poetry in PNG

Hiri Hanenamo emi danis

Hiri Moale 2014 (Stella Blog)
Hiri Hanenamo emi danis, Hiri Moale Festival, 2014 (Stella Blog)


This new poem in Tok Pisin and English uses the primaquatrain poetic form which I have invented. It is meant for original composition in Tok Pisin and seems to work well that way for me - MTD

Eh, meri nambis ia
Longpela garas bilong yu
Emi tanim ai bilong mi
Na tromoi lewa olsem purpur

Mi sanap arere long lain kokonas
Na harim win i sak sakim kundu
Em lewa tasol i paraip taim mi tingim 
Eh, meri nambis ia

Bihain long nait mi driman gut tru
Long holim han bilong yu
Na mi ting olsem mi pul pulim  
Longpela garas bilong yu

Tasol taim mi laik toktok
Nek bilong mi drai nating
Tingting i sot na bel hevi
Emi tanim ai bilong mi

Olomania, san imas kukim het
Taim yu danis mi kamap kulau 
Ai bilong yu i katim mi
Na tromoi lewa olsem purpur

Hiri Hanenamo dances (English version)


Oh, coastal girl
Your long flowing hair
Spins my eyes around
And tosses my heart like your grass skirt

I stand along the coconut grove
And hear the drums thru the wind
But it is my heart beating in recall
Oh, coastal girl

Later at night I dream sweetly
Of holding your hand
And think that I am combing
Your long flowing hair

But when I try to speak
My throat suddenly gets dry
I can’t think, my belly feels so bad it
Spins my eyes around

Oh man, the sun has cooked my brain
When you dance I am a green coconut
Your eyes cut through me
And tosses my heart like your grass skirt

Primaquatrain, 8 January 2021


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Philip Fitzpatrick

Hiri Hanenamo ena koe

Eh, Hiri Hanenamo
Huimu latana namo hereana
Ese matagu eme paia
Bona kudougu eme hamarerea emu koe ramina odaveamu na heto

Name gini niu laini gabanai
Bena gaba regena name kamonaia mirigini ena to ai
Toh ina na egu helalo lou ai kudougu eheta ehude ehude
Eh, Hiri Hanenamo

Bena hanuaboi ai na nihi hereadae na ta laiamu
Imamu nadogoa
Bona helalo lou nadu ariamu
Huimu latana namo hereana

Nauram baina hereva toh,
Gadogu vada eme kaukau
Egu lalohadae eme ore lalogu ena hisihisi
Ese matagu eme paia

O taunimanima, dina ese kwaragu eme gabua
Emu koe ai niu karu na heto
Matamu ese eme polagu
Bona kudougu eme hamarerea emu koe ramina odaveamu na heto

*Special thank you to Gou Gari of Hanuabada for her reading and confirmation of this poem's translation. Ia namo herea momokani, Michael. It's very good indeed.

Michael Dom

Phil, the Motu version is here.

Ples Singsing Masterminds

Tenkiu tumas Phil.

Hiri Motu version is on our schedule.

Ples Singsing Blog presents the Tok-singsing Tryouts

1. Write a Hiri Motu version of Hiri Hanenamo emi danis and win K20 mobile credits, become famous by having it posted on Ples Singsing and PNG Attitude and have eternal glory by inclusion in a new book of translated poems by poet Michael Dom.

2. Create one poem in the 'primaquatrain' form and translate that between two or three of our national languages, English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu.

Winning poem receives K100 mobile credits, runner-up K50, all poems will be published and the best will be included in the new book of translated poems.

Competition dated to end on March 21 but close sooner so this is a small window of opportunity.

Send your entries or inquiries to [email protected]

Em tasol.

Philip Fitzpatrick

That works really well.

You also need a Hiri Motu version I reckon.

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