Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ted weds

Futa Helu, the late and legendary Tongan classicist, educator, and pro-democracy advocate, would have been smiling in Pulotu last week. Last Tuesday a Festival of Democracy dedicated to Helu's memory opened at 'Atenisi, the school he founded half a century ago on the outskirts of Nuku'alofa; and last Thursday, two thousand kilometres south of Tonga's capital, on the sixth floor of an office block in an Auckland oppressed by cold wind and rain, Helu's niece Lose married Ted Jenner, a Kiwi intellectual who has spent his life studying and writing about the Greek philosophers and poets who so fascinated the founder of 'Atenisi.

I'm happy to take credit for introducing Ted and Lose to one another, only three months ago, shortly after Lose had arrived in the strange and vast city of Auckland to pursue her PhD research into Pacific history.

When I asked Ted why he had waited until his sixty-eighth year to get married, he was emphatic. "I just hadn't found the right woman!" he said. "It wasn't due to a lack of romantic feeling...I translated a bookload of love songs by Ibykos: how can I be unromantic?"

Last week's ceremony had the improvised and yet hermetic feel of a classic Ted Jenner poem. Friends and family of the bride and groom were informed of the event at almost the last minute; nevertheless, a surprising number attended. Some of Lose's relatives seem to have gone straight to Fua'amotu airport after getting her text, and taken the first plane to 'Atalanga. "You don't really have to formally invite Tongans to a wedding" Lose told me. "They turn up anyway!" It was good to catch up with some Tongan friends at the ceremony, but I was disconcerted when I realised I was the only person at the event wearing a tupenu and ta'ovala. "It's too cold for that stuff down here", Lose's brother told me. He was right.

In honour of this very romantic event, I'm posting the greatest love song ever written. Sorry Ibykos.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Blogger Richard said...

Good for Ted and Lose! I'm not big on Miles Davis but I'll listen to that later.

8:04 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I didn't click the "send email" option so I send this which is nothing!

8:05 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I am currently uploading my pictures of graffiti and street art onto EYELIGHT. Also fragments or whole poems, and "official graffiti" there will be more stuff including images of GI and Panmure etc The limitations at the moment (so far the series of pictures are mostly devoid of humans in them, which is appropriate up to a point as indeed a lot of the art or writing is local and seen quickly or seen 'on the run' often before it is removed: but more local GI scenes will appear either there or on FB as appropriate.

Again my congratulations to Ted and Lose.

8:09 pm  
Anonymous Scott said...

You should invite 'em out for dinner in Panmure, Richard! Look forward to the new developments on EYELIGHT...

12:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the LDS church is a cunning but smart organisation. They try and teach you things in stages so it's easier to believe the things they say, but they still kept a lot from you. They will teach Family is important and everything and it is but they hide so much... Joseph Smith was a leader who believe black people are cursed and based the Book Of Mormon upon it. They still do believe that those who aren't white are cursed and is mentioned in the Book of Mormon. Not only Africans but us "Polynesians" too. Blacks and browns are not pure and must repent and all that for them to be light skinned. All the way to Brigham Young this was taught to everyone who was a member of the LDS church. I just wish my people studied what they have joined...

1:51 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Place is a chaos as I am sorting my books - 3000 or more I had for sale.

I'll put links on FB I have thousands of images I haven't shown yet. But I have some other projects.

I agree with anonymous above, the LDS church (as do many of the Christian churches or the philosophy associated, has a kind of hierarchical system starting with the Garden of Eden and then dividing the races. A lot of that stuff is from another line that postulated that there was a superior "Aryan race" but there is no such thing. That critic who wrote about Icelandic sagas and much else did an excellent "expose" of the whole thing that lead to the Nazi theories although the ideas arose prior to them. I cant recall that writer just now, he is very good...

7:25 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I meant Eliot Weinberger. He wrote brilliantly of that issue and other things in 'Karmic Traces' (I'm pretty sure that was the book I read). I think he also writes about the great Scottish poet McDiarmid in there.

If that is the book I mean his writing though "non-fiction" often is as fascinating and beautiful as great poetry.

But he also cleverly debunks a lot of the Eurocentric theories.

7:33 pm  
Anonymous L said...

Ted's Haiku - "Now we're married, I can hear the musical timbre of your voice in the morning, and count the freckles that fleck your nose and cheeks in the evening". L. Jenner-Helu.

10:06 pm  
Anonymous Pat Jeffares said...

well done Ted!

11:24 am  

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