A New Hevn pt 1 in Hawaiian (hopefully)

By JulesKD

Now with 130% more tedious notes!

I am by no means anywhere near fluent in Hawaiian, and it's been a long time since I've had to speak it or pay attention to the patterns. So please, anyone with any knowledge on this beautiful language, please feel free to correct me! (Bear in mind I am prone to making ridiculous mistakes. Once I tried to tell my Hawaiian teacher "You are very patient" and what I said instead was, "You have huge genitals." True story. I need all the help I can get.)


I'm choosing specific words and phrases here based on my interpretation of this. Hawaiian is a highly interpretive language – not just a copy of English, but a model of its culture. Words have a different feel in Hawaiian than they do here. They have hidden meanings, called "kauna." This kauna is part of what makes Hawaiian poetry so intensely beautiful, and so nearly impossible to master.


Possessives are of two classes in Hawaiian: the A-class, which is what you choose to have (children, cars, things,) and the O-class, what you have by default (life, parents, bodies, emotions.) So I tried to put some of that in here.


This is a very rough draft! Feedback/corrections from people with better understanding of Hawaiian, (na 'oiwi!) and also from Wirrow and Metaphorest, is much much much appreciated. (Since I'm basing the translation on my interpretation, and of course, your intent might be different.)


Eventually--if you all think this is okay, pono, acceptable--I will finish this, clean it up, take out the notes, and re-record it. Then I'd love to chant it, pa'i, and maybe even choreograph some kind of superlong hula, OMG. How exhausting. ^_^



* * *


somewhere... live two stories

one of hevn, one of urth,

who awake to find they’re hugging

with no knowledge of their birth.

Ma kekahi wahi... e ola mo'olelo lua

'O Lani, 'o Honua,

ho'ala laua, pili koke

ko laua hanau nalowale

 this embrace invokes a balance

the two stories have come one.

no more fear and no desire

nothing done to be undone. 


Ia pili ho'okaulike,

Ua ho'okahi na mo'olelo lua

A'ole maka'u, a'ole 'ano'i

A'ohe hana 'ia, a'ohe mawehi

but suddenly there is an urge

that shakes their tranquil state.

hungering to understand

and thirsting to create,


Honua, aia he makemake

ho'oluli he malie.

Makemake ho'omaopopo,

makemake ho'okumu

hevn, out of nowhere

tells a story of its own

and urth, beguiled by newness

acts this story out alone.

'O Lani, mai ka wahi'ole mai no

ha'i kana mo'olelo

malihini ia mo'olelo,

ho'okapehe 'o Honua

ho'okeaka ia mo'olelo ho'okahi


so with a song and dance 

a tiny story came to be

a star that lit their eyes up

and enabled them to see.


Me he mele, me he ha'a

aia he mo'olelo pokole

Ua ho'omalamalama ka hoku i ko laua maka

Konale laua


with this new light both hope and fear 

filled up their hearts with warning

this newborn tale was not alone

still many more were calling.


Me ia malamalama malihini,

Ua ho'opiha ia poli

me ke mana'olana, ka maka'u.

A'ole ho'okahi ia mo'olelo

He mau ia ha'i 'ana!

stories grew and blossomed then

sung in by hevn’s choirs.

they formed their shape aloft in space,

took life from urthly fires.


Ua mohala ia mo'olelo

Ua mele ka Lani papa himeni

Ua ho'okino ia i lewa luna lilo,

Ua lawe ia he ola o ko Honua mau ahi

but stories are not set in stone

their shapes are always shifting.

suns lit up like fireworks

and mountain tops were lifting.


Aka, a'ole kalai i pohaku, ia mo'olelo

He mau kinilao kinolau

Na la ho'omalamalama like na ahikou 

Ua hapai na kualono


meadows stretched and liquefied

and poured into the ocean,

whose waves formed winged beasts that

leapt and fluttered into motion.


Ua ho'ohehe'e na kula mau'u

hanini i ke kai 

Ua ho'okino lele na nalu

I laila, ka'apeha ia


colours grew out of the ground

and spread into the sky

a watercolour world with rainbows

fifty stories high


Ua ulu mai ka lepo na waiho'olu'u (

'apakau 'ana i ka lani

he honua waiho'ohui

na anuenue he ki'eki'e o kanalima papahele


great rocks rose to meet the stars

wishing a better view

the highest peaks were dusted white

each day, pristine and new

Ua pi'i mai na hoku he mau pohaku nui

no he 'ikena maika'i

Ho'okea na kualono

'ano hou, ia la a'e


for everything a perfect place

a den, a hut, a hive

soon every thing the eye could see

came suddenly alive


No na mea apau, he wahi hemolele

he ke'ena, he hale, he pahu

Honua, ua 'inana na mea apau!


with roots and shoots, with wings and feet

in flocks, in packs and swarms

a wondrous festival of life

of stories taking form

Me na a'a, na 'ao, me na 'eheu, na wawae

I mau 'auna, mau hui, mumulu 'ana

He ho'olaule'a kamaha'o o ke ola

o ia mo'olelo ho'okino

* * *

That's it for part one so far. Any corrections (esp. from na 'oiwi,) are gratefully and humbly accepted.


A New Hevn pt 1 in Hawaiian (hopefully)

Created: May 07, 2011

Tags: hawaiian, a new hevn, wirrow creation myth metaphorest

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