Poetry Of Hans Christian Haugen & Others

HAKUMELE is Hawaiian for both songwriter and poet . . .

      Keith Haugen has written more than 300 poems, under the nom de plume Hans Christian Haugen, a name he put together from those of his grandfathers--Hans Haugen and Capt. Christian Hultgren, both of Drammen, Norge. Some of Keith's poems have been published.  Keith's poetry covers a wide spectrum of styles and subjects. Here are a few examples:

To Each is Given     Cap and Gown      Happy Anniversary    The Seasons of My Life    Parents' Day

Having fun with words       


Today, July 25, we celebrate National Parent's Day, a special day set aside to honor those who brought us into this world. Sure we have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, even a Grandparents' Day, but what the heck, why not have one for all parents?  It reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother in the 1950s.   I seem to recall that it was either on Mother's Day or my birthday and I suggested to her that we should celebrate a special day to honor our parents--on our birthday.   Many years later, the idea came back to me and I put my thoughts down in a poem.   It is called "Parent's Day." Now, someone has set aside a special day for parents, and it seems a good day to pass this poem along to everyone we know. -- Keith (& Carmen)

Parents' Day

Each year we have a wonderful day
When we celebrate our birth
For twenty-four hours we seem to become
The most special person on earth.
But did you ever stop and wonder
How all this came to be
What is it that we celebrate?
And why do they honor me?
We have a day for mothers
And one for fathers too
But when we plan our birthday
We forget those special two
If there was a party when you were born
You were the last to arrive
So honor those who brought you
And just be glad that you're alive
Remember who made it possible
When you plan your next big day
Think of those who gave you life
And call it "Parents' Day."

Hans Christian Haugen
March 7, 1994
Copyright 1994, C. Keith Haugen

Keith wrote "Parents' Day" on his birthday in 1994, promoting an idea he had first suggested back in the 1950s--that we should celebrate Parents' Day instead of our own birthday. Think about it on your next birthday; send a card and something special to your parents. This poem has been published several times.

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Cap and Gown

A mortar board, they call it,
And it seems to fit just right.
In the mirror it looks so handsome
With the tassel on the right.
On Sunday, I will don the gown
And feel that special heft
Of a mortar board upon my head
With the tassel on the left.

Hans Christian Haugen
UH-M Alumnus
December 7, 1996
Copyright 1996, C. Keith Haugen

Cap and Gown was written by Keith for his own graduation from the University of Hawai`i in December 1996 (BA - Liberal Studies, with a major in Hawaiian language, music & culture). It has been published several times and is quite popular around graduation time

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Happy Anniversary

Each year we start another trip
Once more around the sun,
And if we make it all the way,
To our years we add a one.
We start it on our birthday
And celebrate at year's end.
And if we marry along the way,
We start all over again.
When we start off as a couple,
We start to count anew,
For our years become more special
When the trips are made by two.
So as we celebrate today
Another year of fun,
Remember we made it together,
Once more around the sun.

Hans Christian Haugen
October 29, 1993
Copyright 1993, C. Keith Haugen

Keith wrote "Happy Anniversary" for Carmen, on their anniversary, October 29, 1993. They celebrated that anniversary performing at the famous Moana Hotel, the oldest hotel on Waikiki Beach, and gave copies of the poem to all who attended. "Happy Anniversary" also has been published.

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The Seasons of My Life

By Hans Christian Haugen

It's summer still for me
At 55, I'm young and free.
I think of all that's yet to be
And I look forward to the autumn.

My spring was full of love and fun,
Adventure, travel, victories won;
More than should be accorded one.
And I looked forward to the summer.

When summer came, I was prepared.
I learned the value of friends who cared;
Of times and things that should be shared.
And I made the most of summer.

Although my autumn has yet to arrive,
I thank my God that I'm alive
And I vow to never lose my drive
While planning for the winter.

Winter's not too far away
And I look forward to the day
With friends we've made along the way
To enjoy that final season.

Seasons come and seasons go,
The summer green and winter snow,
Yet through it all, somehow I know
I was made for all the seasons.

Hans Christian Haugen
March 7, 1995
Copyright 1995, C. Keith Haugen

"The Seasons of My Life" was a birthday poem, on hakumele's own 55th celebration of his birth. He describes the seasons and expresses optimistically that he will live a long life and will enjoy the winter of his years. "Yet, through it all, somehow I know I was made for all the seasons." The poem was published in 1995.

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Having fun with words . . .

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

I don't know who first said it, but I first heard that wise old saying as a child growing up in a home with parents who believed in it. One of them must have told it to me and I never forgot it. So, sometimes, when everything seems so very serious, I stop and write something that is perhaps foolish, at least nonsense. It lightens my load and I feel better (sometimes even clever) for having done so. Here are a couple of poems I penned in 1996 and 1997, shortly after spending five years in the books to earn my BA from the University of Hawai`i. I had been waking at 3 and 4 a.m. to do homework, and staying up until midnight to do prep work for classes I was teaching. You deserve a break today, I told myself. Lighten up! So I wrote a poem called "Jibberish." Take your time, read it slowly. Dissect it without regard to the meaning and it will jump out at you. Don't think too seriously. It will make sense, I promise you."


It's time, mothers the choir story left
Easy in the auto Christmas told
To turkey presents in the cleft
Make tree lights under falling gold
The present table without playing
Lines gift fly toward some play
Rhyme time song is staying
When college up to heroes way
It state and home said puppy town
Doesn't cats stove under luck
Really told woman down
Matter type computer duck
What note rest and melody
You run there cycle today
Are children stop in harmony?
Saying some milk in holiday.

Hans Christian Haugen
December 10, 1996

The next month, in January 1997, after I found out that a few of my friends had missed the point in "Jibberish," in a fit of compassion, I wrote "Jibberish II." It is for those who missed the point completely in the first poetic masterpiece. Read on! Keith


A beauty, bread flower moon
Little dog toy together and soon
Nonsense sighed picture dark
Now malasadas saimin park
And candy foreign or any treat
Then lost convertible sand or street
Is won ton clearly growing up too?
Relished home alone and zoo
By adults, autos sad mothers
The wild west played with others
Wisest da kine in somebody tune
Men alone the fried stuff prune.

Hans Christian Haugen
January 1997
Copyright 1996 & 1997, C. Keith Haugen

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Check out "To Each is Given"
Includes a Haugen poem

      "To Each is Given . . . " is a collection of inspirational poetry set to music by Leo Marchildon,
a Canadian-born, Hollywood-based composer, arranger, and conductor.  For years, Marchildon collected what he felt were the most inspirational poems--18 of them from such noted writers and poets as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Helen Steiner Rice, and others. Leo set them to music and recorded them on a CD for all to enjoy.  Some are narrated, others sung--by a number of top vocalists and readers and a chorus that includes the Choir of St. John Eudes--all done to the music of the Leo Marchildon Orchestra.

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And did you know  that a thousand years ago, poetry was considered a "sport" for the Viking warriors? The Vikings placed a high value on ability to tell stories and to write and recite poems and ranked it as a sport, right alongside the sports that prepared them to do physical battle. It was considered very important that a man be able to express himself well. It also helped them to pass the time on long, cold, winter nights. Leif Erikson excelled as a poet and as a storyteller and was described in the sagas as a "new kind of Viking," who used words instead of the sword. He was said to be moderate in his behavior.

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