Don Blanding poem in English, 1939.

Don Blanding Dedicates Poem To Old Hawaiians

Don Blanding, Hawaii’s own poet, now visiting in Hilo, has finished a poem and dedicated it to “those grand old Hawaiians you see sitting on the doorsteps of the little houses along the road in Kona watching life go by, smiling.”

Here’s the new poem:


“Tutu” is the affectionate Hawaiian name for grandparents or very old people.)

I would grow old as you are old, Tutu,
Seasoned with loving, mellow with gracious giving,
I would have hair like your grayed hair, Tutu,
Each silver thread a service stripe of living.

I would have eyes like your kind eyes, Tutu,
The veil of tears pierced by gay laughter’s twinkle,
I would have lips that smile like yours, Tutu,
A line from Life’s rich story in each wrinkle.

I would look back as you look back, Tutu,
Remembering all the good, the rest forgetting,
I would face death as you face death, Tutu,
Grateful of heart, undaunted, unregretting.

—Don Blanding

July 9, 1939

(Hoku o Hawaii, 7/12/1939, p. 6)

Don Blanding Dedicates Poem To Old Hawaiians

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXIV, Number 11, Aoao 6. July 12, 1939.

1 thought on “Don Blanding poem in English, 1939.

  1. Blanding’s writings are often very sentimental, like this poem, but he was very skilled in sometimes capturing insightful views of Hawaii. In reading this you can see how he successfully gained a number of fans and followers, and why he still is liked today.

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