Kapiolani In Rarotongan

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

Mr. F.W. Christian, of the Polynesian Society of New Zealand, whose personal acquaintance with the South Sea Islands and their dialects is unique, is translating "Kapiolani" into Rarotongan. He writes--

"I enclose a four-line stanza which, translating your first line--'Where the great green combers break,' etc.--strictly according to East Polynesian ballad-metres, ushers in your great theme.

"'Kapiolani' will, I trust, God willing, become a household classic in many of the Eastern Islands, such as Rapa and Manahiki, where the Rarotongan language runs current as a sort of Lingua Franca or Sacred Esperanto, thanks to the magnificent translation of the Bible by the great missionary, John Williams. I have translated the poem most carefully, and as accurately as possible into the peculiar metre and cast of expression which an Eastern Polynesian 'Atu-Pe'e, or Versifier, would immediately grasp as idiomatic. The first lines run thus:--"

Tei te ngai mangúngú--anga no te an ngaru roro'a
Ki rúnga no te púnga matoato'a
Ngàru kerekere, ngáru mamaáta e tini
Ki rúnga no te 'Akau-Pipíni.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'Kapiolani In Rarotongan' by William Arthur Dunkerley

comments powered by Disqus