[aloha-donblanding] A question for the group
- Hello all...
Since the list has slowed down a wee bit I thought it might be a good
oppurtunity to throw out a question for the group...
What is your favorite Don Blanding poem and why?
I like most of Don's poems, forst of all... so it is difficult to choose just
opne, but since I am the one that posed the question I will say that "Names
Are Ships" stands out in my mind. I suppose the reason for that is that
"Vagabond's House" was one of the forst DB books I read, as I have said
before, the Hilo, Hawaii public library stocked a lot of Blanding books, but
seemed to have his books that related more directly with Hawaii. So, I ended
up reading that book very early on and one of the early poems in that book is
"Names Are Ships". I grew up in Hilo and it being a port, I saw a lot of
ships coming and going all the time.Large boats always interested me from a
very young age. I was also the kind of strange kid that would pull out an
atlas and lay on the living room floor and try to pronounce names and try to
picture what those places were like. In one of those atlas' I actually drew a
pencil-line imaginary trip that I would have wanted to one day take around
the world... I recognized many of the placenames Don mentions in this poem
from my dream-journeys with my atlas. So, as you can see. place names and
ships both are a part ome, and for Don to write a perfect combination of
both? Well, you can see why I would pick it as a favorite...
I'd be interested in hearing the favorites of others...
- Hi Larry,
Yes, it does seem that all the regulars have paused to take a breath,
doesn't it? But if you look back at the volume of messages that have been
posted here in just a few short weeks, I guess it's to be expected that
things would slow down.
I guess if I was really "obliged" to name my favorite DB poem I would have
to say Vagabond's House, just because it's been familiar to me for close to
forty years. As I have said many times, I first heard it on the radio, read
by Paul Reid, in the 60s. At about the same time I purchased a book
intitled "The Best Loved Poems Of The American People" and was thrilled to
find Vagabond's House in it. It was not until the mid 90s that I acquired
any of DB's books, my first purchases being a signed copy of Vagabond's
House and an unsigned copy of The Rest Of The Road. I found them both in a
little used book store in Ottawa. I recently purchased a first edition of
Songs Of The Seven Senses from a store in Illinois which I contacted
through the Internet.
In those three books, of course, I have found many hours of enjoyment and
many works that I love, but it would take a long time, I think, to supplant
the one that has given me so much pleasure, relaxation, dreams and memories
for such a long time as has Vagabond's House.
But, if a list of "potentials" might be permitted I would mention :
The Spun Glass Ship
Names Are Ships
Farewell To Vagabond's House
There are certainly others, but those are the ones that come to mind just
now. Also, The Tranquil Hour, which I read in Floridays at the public
library in Toronto, is very poignant and I wonder if indeed he got to
choose his hour as he talked about in that poem.
Well I do tend to get long-winded don't I?
(*that's Aloha in Quebec)
- tj is in the middle of budgets at work and after being on computers all
day...they lose their appeal at nite.....I'll get back into the swing of
things in about two weeks. I'm also waiting for the Carmel Pine Cone
newpaper that is being copied for me....it had a lot of interesting tid-bits
in it that would stimulate some discussion.....off to my Sunday workfest.....
- My favorite lines i love are:
"Oh, you'll never know Hawai'i...
Til you've hung every garment on a big Kamani Tree
and have felt the foaming surf about your knees
Til you've plunged into the breakers with a cry of pagan glee
In a bathing suit of moonlight and a breeze..."
I think Larry can relate!
I like the lines of Baby street
and "one finga poi!"
Or his appreciation for the Mokihana lei that
was more precious than pearls and would "twine his heart forever"
I enjoy the way he captured the Hawai'i of old so perfectly so
understandingly and so beautifully in words.
Because of Dave Ballards' reading DB over KIXI in Seattle......I would have
to say the Vagabond's House is my first favorite. I always could see my
things around my Vagabond house as he would read the words.
My second, so far, is the Spun Glass Ship........it always makes me cry
and I don't know why, but does.
- Maui Tom,
Have you ever heard/read: Mele of Yesterday's Men?
Hal and I had a fun and busy day yesterday. To start off, we went to the
Glendale Library and got the 33 1/3 record...I Remember Blanding,
as Narrated by Paul Page and his Paradise Music, with special guest poet and
narrator Edythe Hope Genee'.
The above title is the last recording and states it is a chant but I don't
know if DB wrote it or not. In the recording they say when it is something
Paul Page or Edythe Genee' has composed.
I have it copied on tape if anyone wants a copy........it has Hawaiian
music background. I think Dave Ballard must have heard it as his tape is
similar but with more feeling.
Leaves From My Grass House
Maui Chimes (Sam Koki,steel guitar)(Poem by Paul Page)
Where Now, Vagabond? (poem by Edythe Hope Genee')
The Meaning of ALOHA OE
Leis for Remembrance
Drums Mark The End
Glamour's Gone (Narration by Edythe Hope Genee')
Mele of Yesterday's Men (A chanted Story)
There is a memo on the back from Paradise Music Corp. "Here is Blanding
at his best, recorded by those who knew kim best".
- Yes I like Mele of Yesterdays men. But as I remember it is about the mighty
chiefs that have passed, and whose power is lost.
I like the happy stuff appreciative of Hawai'i. But I am a romanticist
thanks for sharing
- Well Bev, tj would like a recording of DB's latest album you located. When I
send you my copies of the Pine Cone, I'll include a tape, if you will.....I
would be real interested in Edith Hope Genee's interpretation of DB's work...
I did speak with Arleen at the Carmel Library but she had not gotten
around to having the Pine Cone copied yet. Who know's it might be ready for
pick-up when you get there on 3-17. I won't get there before then but will
be going back to Carmel soon.
- My favorite Blanding poem is "Heart's Radar." I think the first
attraction is the family connection to the poem, that DB personally
noted to my father that it was written to remember Scotty, his Lone Wolf
partner, my father's roommate, and my own name sake. But before I knew
that, I knew of the poem because my mother read it often after my
father's death. Finally, I think that it is one of his most eloquent
poems. It is extremely well written, it touches the heart without
dipping into cheap sentimentalism, it is loving and it is uplifting.
When I am sometimes asked to speak at a funeral, I always read it; when
a friend experiences a death in the family, I always give them a copy.
It assuages the pain of grief and offers the hope of a better life in
You did such a lovely job describing your favorite that I've just spent the
last 25 minutes looking for it.... unsuccessfully.
Help me out a little and remind me which book it is in?
One of my problems could be that every time I open a book I find things to
reread again and get distracted! .... Huh!
Mary in Florida "ys"
From: Gerald Argetsinger
My favorite Blanding poem is "Heart's Radar." I think the first
attraction is the family connection to the poem, that DB personally
- Opps, Obviously I was just catching up on DB mail. I should have been more
patient and read further.
Thanks Jerry for contributing some much appreciated "finger sweat" to the
Mary in Floridays