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."
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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
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
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
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.