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Faculty present poetry for Valentine's Day

by Yonie K. Espiritu, associate editor


On Feb. 14, Hawaii Pacific University’s faculty held its second annual Valentine Celebration in Warmer auditorium. Starting off the reading was Dan Binkley, professor of history, who shared excerpts from “What I still carry,” a prose account of a haiku by Ono No Yoshiki, that he found years ago while traveling. The haiku read: “My love

Is like the grasses,
Hidden in the deep mountain valley.
Though its abundance increases,
There is none that knows."

Click on image for larger view

Next to read was Adele NeJame, an assistant professor of English who will be teaching a poetry workshop next semester. She recited one of the 11 poems she has published this year.

Deborah Ross, a professor of English, shared a prose work entitled, “Puberty.” Not really pertaining to the traditional Valentine spirit, but about her children, her short story delighted the audience with humor, irony, and situations that everyone could relate to.

Micheline Soong teaches English and humanities, and has published in Bamboo Ridge. She and her husband, John Yokanaan Kearns, assistant professor of history and humanities and assistant dean for faculty matters, collaborated on “Pomegranates.” The poem expressed the Roman idea of a pomegranate as a gift of love, symbolic of a woman.

Ed Van Gorder, associate professor of management and mathematics, is currently published in the Hawai‘i Pacific Review. He used a more relaxed approach standing beside the podium rather than behind it, as he described his feelings for an old love of long ago.

Patrice Wilson, an English instructor and accomplished poet,broke her poem into two parts, both pertaining to romantic love, and through imagery, created the essence of a valentine—sides of a heart.

Houston Wood, associate proessor of English and director of the writing program, wrapped up the readings with a poem entitled “Fertile Day,” in which he delightedly described all the beautiful characteristics of his wife.


In the last part of the presentation Jeanne Rellahan (Hera), Angela Gili (Aphrodite), and Serge Marek (Ares) did a Valentine’s Day meets Mother’s Day interpretation of a scene by Yokanaan Kearns for “Dis/Troy.” The scene was set in Olympus, 1200 B.C., and demonstrated how a mother’s influence, Hera’s, over her son Arescan can be countered by the ever-persuasive romantic powers of the beautiful Aphrodite. This romantic conclusion to the readings provided another opportunity for the audience to get in a laugh about the day’s main topic—love.




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