Some of my favorite requests come from a bound periodical called Paradise Of the Pacific: Hawaii’s Illustrated Monthly Magazine. The library has bound issues from (1933:04-1966:06.) This little gem is filled with poetry, articles on Hawaiian customs, bits of history, agriculture and geographical information throughout the pacific region. Every time I fill a request from this magazine I feel like I have gone on a pacific journey.
I recently filled an article request from the January 1937 issue about “introduced game birds of Hawaii.” As informative as that was, I was more struck by a poem by the Late King Riho Riho (Kamehameha II) called: The Passage from Koolau to Honoruru, written in the early 1800’s.
“Koolau was offended with the rains of Moelana,
While they defiled the entrance of Kekele’s inhabitations,
And roughened the stormy passage of Nuwanu.
From Nuwanu to Malalua blows the wind;
Behold the blades of the nodding kaweru
Waving in the flying gales of the passage!
While the leaves of the ti, the candle-tree, and the hau,
Shake and bend, and yield to the strong blast,
And are tost and driven by the whirl of mountain storm,
The goddesses sit shiv’ring by the wayside.
Along the flowing path of the hau bower
The travelers enter the pass they sink in the mire.
At kahuwailana, the company going to Rona
Slip totter, slide, stagger, and fall,
Wet their packages, and drench their cloths;
They march on, naked and without shelter:
Accompanied by showers, the proceed to Rona;
They meet with the sun at Leleoe.”
It's always fun to travel off - while sitting quietly in the pages of: Paradise of the Pacific.