Poem: My Grandfather’s Bilum

15 01 2011

My Grandfather’s Bilum

How grandfather’s bilum, which
Across my father’s bare chest,
In a loving embrace slung.
Like the Leleki baskets’ blest
How while so pregnant swung.

How dwelleth he my father in its rich
Splendour till handing-over of its rest,
Then over my clothed chest again sways.
O this old bilum! like all other blest
No longer is laden with in my days.

For its treasures I search in earnest,
That I may grandfather’s mind know.
O this bilum is no longer pregnant!
Along the way, maybe some time ago,
How many treasures fade; this instant

Till my sleep, I’ll summon eagerness
To my modern soul strengthened to seek.
Grandfather’s treasures may be hidden;
Yet through a new eye must I ever peek
For glimpses my days have forbidden.

By: Jeffrey Febi        25 Oct 2010


A bilum (woven bag) from PNG


 ::my take::

I have the pleasure of sharing my friend Jeff’s poem here. Just like the bilums we so love, his rhyming scheme and the imagery is beautifully woven into play, connecting each stanza to the next via what I would like to call a conduit couplet.

In turn this poem takes us on the journey of a bilum down the line through three generations and we can see the changes in culture from traditional to the contemporary, in a way through the bilum’s ‘eyes’ and the author’s yearnings to compromise both cultures. Living in the postmodern world and trying to fill it up again with what used to be in it; the sage words of the forefathers and our quickly diminishing traditions and cultures. And this is a constant battle (I hear you bro…. na spos mi skelim karangi, ok yu toksave:)).

Yep we got poets here living.

Beautiful. Superb. Stupendous.  Brilliant. Fantastique. Magnifique! :p




3 responses

16 01 2011
Tweets that mention Poem: My Grandfather’s Bilum « ::D R e a m z^^e d i a::T h e B lo g u s e u m:: -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adams A, Hope Trek. Hope Trek said: Poem: My Grandfather's Bilum: http://wp.me/p66wI-5c […]


2 02 2011
Jeffrey Febi

Bata blo mi, yes yu tok tru. You’re interpretation of the underlying meaning of the poem is spot on.

I hope not all (Tumbuna Pasin) is lost in our endeavors to modernise our PNG and ourselves as well.

Thanks for sharing my poem with all the wonderful followers of this great blog.


2 02 2011

bro, yu save pinis osem em normal yah 😉
Wanbel stap full speed… there’s a mention of you on hopetrek as well.
Great going there, champ!


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