Poetic tribute to Pōhiva presents PM’s vision and values in rich metaphoric language

    One of the many tributes to the late Prime Minister of Tonga, the Right Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva is a poem by New Zealand-based Tongan academic, author and health professional Sione Tu’itahi.

    Tu’itahi is originally from Hā’ano, the same island as Hon. Pōhiva.

    Written in rich metaphoric language, the poem uses the Tongan literary device of heliaki (symbolism) to outlines the family roots of the late Pohiva, revealing his little-known connection to the Tongan royal family and to some of the 33 noble estate holders.

    More significantly, the poem distils the essential values and principles, and vision that shaped and informed Pōhiva’s relentless campaign for truth, justice and freedom, for more than 40 years.

    Tu’itahi, a former journalist, knew Pōhiva for more than 40 years and covered his activities in Tongan education, governance and leadership for almost two decades.

    Hā’ano Si’i Fakalahi ki he Lotu mo e Ako
    (Ko e manatu ‘ofa mei Lautala he pekia ‘a e ‘Eiki Palemia ‘o Tonga ko Samuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, ‘I ‘Aokalani, Nu’usila, Tu’apulelulu Sepitema 12, 2019)

    Mala’e Lahi mo Aleipata pe’i mo fakahā
    Ki he Maka-ko-Fele’unga mo e Houma Tetefa
    Taha si’ena fanautama mo’unga’i tangata
    Kuo ui mei Langi he Taulanga Vai-o-Mata

    Si’i Mohenga-e-‘Atu kuo ngalu pea ‘au
    Funga Kelekelenoa ena si’i tangi lau’aitu
    Pulonga Pakimoeto’i si’i Heilala Fisi’iniu
    Kakapu Vai-ko-Kanakana mo e Taulanga Fualu

    Fanakava mo Ma’u-kuo-mate si’oto fakapō
    Tā ne o’o he kaiha’a tangitauloto
    Fakanonoa si’i fangatapu ‘o Nukunamo
    Huli ‘o Ofolanga kuo takavaha mama’o

    Sia-ko-Toloke si’oku ‘ofa ni ke fakaa’u
    Kia Puatoka, Kienga mo Pouvalu
    Ko e tongiaki mei Lautala kuo tō tau
    He siu-i-moana ma’a e ko eni mo e kaha’u

    Kanivatu eni ‘o Tokonakao mo Lofia
    Siu mānoa ki he Kolo Ta’engata
    Lava e fetau ‘i moana mo maama
    Tofa hala fononga ma’a Tonga kotoa

    Fangofulu ta’u pea ‘osiki a Velenga
    Tufunga’i fo’ou e taha ki he fakakātoa
    Toutai ola ki he totonu mo e tau’atāina
    Ke tatau e palai mo e tua

    Vake, Hiko mo Vunipola pe’i na’a ā
    He ko e hala kuo papa ne matua’i mei mu’a
    Fakalahi ki he lotu mo e ako e kaveinga
    Mate he mo’oni, feilaulau ma’a e fonua

    Folau ā si’i to’a ne fakakikite’i ki Kiliki mu’a
    Si’o kafu e fisi’inaua mo lūsia pē ke tau fonua
    Tuku ki he kaha’u ki ha’a vavanga he faiva tala
    Ke ‘auliliki e mo’oni si’o tufunga fonua fisifisimu’a

    Tōfā si’i Heilala-o-Fusipala kau tatau atu
    ‘O lepa heke ‘i Lepanoni teu e folau
    Tafoe he Vaonukonuka ki he Fa’onelua he ala folau
    Ki he Manuka-ki- Langitoto ‘o ‘unaloto mo tali fekau

    Ka ‘eke si’a sola pea tohitongi he manatu
    Ko e tufunga mei Lautala, he tu’unga fale ne pou valu
    Hiko e taulanga hoto faiva fakatalutalu
    Hafoka mo ‘Otukolo ha melenga mo faka’osi atu

    © 2019 Sione Tu’itahi
    (Sepitema 12, 2019)

    2 COMMENTS

    1. Tangane Pouvalu malie e fatu ta’anga. ‘Ikai ha ofo ai he koe talaloto ‘oe pikinga ta’ata’a! Malie malie tuha moe tagata.

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