The Full Text of Girl
by Jamaica Kincaid

subscribe here if new
Custom Search




The poem Girl by Jamaica Kincaid, appears to be something like a lecture from a mother to her daughter.

It takes the form of a series of lessons; the point of the lessons, according to the mother, is to teach her daughter to behave and act properly.

Girl by Jamaica Kincaid - Profile Photo

By the way, Jamaica Kincaid was really born Elaine Cynthia Richardson on the 25th of May 1949 in St. Johns on our sister Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda.

She changed her name to Jamaica Kincaid in 1973 because her family disapproved of her writing.

Here's the full text of the poem:

Wash the white clothes on Monday and put them on the stone heap;wash the color clothes on Tuesday and put them on the clothesline to dry;

don't walk barehead in the hot sun;
cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet oil;
soak your little cloths right after you take them off;
when buying cotton to make yourself a nice blouse, be sure that it doesn't have gum on it, because that way it won't hold up well after a wash;

soak salt fish overnight before you cook it;
is it true that you sing benna in Sunday school?;
always eat your food in such a way that it won't turn someone else's stomach;

on Sundays try to walk like a lady and not like the slut you are so bent on becoming;
don't sing benna in Sunday school;
you mustn't speak to wharf-rat boys, not even to give directions;

don't eat fruits on the street - flies will follow you;
but I don't sing benna on Sundays at all and never in Sunday school;

this is how to sew on a button;
this is how to make a buttonhole for the button you have just sewed on;
this is how to hem a dress when you see the hem coming down and to prevent yourself from looking like the slut you are so bent on becoming;

this is how you iron your father's khaki shirt so that it doesn't have a crease;
this is how you iron your father's khaki pants so that they don't have a crease;
this is how you grow okra - far from the house, because okra tree harbors red ants;

when you are growing dasheen, make sure it gets plenty of water or else it makes your throat itch when you are eating it;
this is how you sweep a corner;
this is how you sweep a whole house;
this is how you sweep a yard;

this is how you smile to someone you don't like too much;
this is how you smile at someone you don't like at all;
this is how you smile to someone you like completely;

this is how you set a table for tea;
this is how you set a table for dinner;
this is how you set a table for dinner with an important guest;
this is how you set a table for lunch;
this is how you set a table for breakfast;

this is how to behave in the presence of men who don't know you very well, and this way they won't recognize immediately the slut I have warned you against becoming;

be sure to wash every day, even if it is with your own spit;
don't swat down to play marbles - you are not a boy, you know;
don't pick people's flowers - you might catch something;
don't throw stones at blackbirds, because it might not be a blackbird at all;

this is how to make a bread pudding;
this is how to make doukona;
this is how to make pepper pot;
this is how to make a good medicine for a cold;
this is how to make a good medicine to throw away a child before it even becomes a child;

this is how to catch a fish;
this is how to throw back a fish you don't like and that way something bad won't fall on you;
this is how to bully a man;

this is how a man bullies you;
this is how to love a man, and if this doesn't work there are other ways, and if they don't work don't feel too bad about giving up;
this is how to spit up in the air if you feel like it, and this is how to move quick so that it doesn't fall on you;

this is how to make ends meet;
always squeeze bread to make sure it's fresh;
but what if the baker won't let me feel the bread?;
you mean to say that after all you are really going to be the kind of woman who the baker won't let near the bread?

- Girl by Jamaica Kincaid.

Click here to read the biography of Jamaica Kincaid on Wikipedia.org.

Return to Jamaican Culture from Girl by Jamaica Kincaid.
Return to HomePage from Girl by Jamaica Kincaid.

Posted: May/27/2010

Sources:
http://www-public.tu-bs.de:8080/~cmaul/girl.htm
http://notearama.blogspot.com/2010/01/girl.html

References:

http://www.jamaicakincaid.com.jm/index.htm
http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-girl/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/arts/features/womenwriters/kincaid_life.shtml

Back to Top of Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

Related Pages

Back to Top of Girl by Jamaica Kincaid

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Thanks For Reading!
Like What You Just Read?

Please join me in my effort to share the beauty and uniqueness of Jamaica with the world. You can do so by sharing this insightful narrative on the social media of your choice and ask others to do the same (BELOW). 

jamaica_click_down_here_need_help

Need Help?

We have a cherry list of top Jamaican companies that might be able to help you. Please click here to see them, our preferred partners and site sponsors.


Get Exclusive Updates & Tips!

You are also welcome to join my special friends list and receive exclusive updates (like this), tips, trivia and stories from lovers of Jamaica!

facts about jamaica book icon

I'll Gift You A FREE COPY of my eBook, 101 Intriguing Facts About Jamaica - just for subscribing!

Just enter your email & name below:

copyscpe
Top Of Page

And please,
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL 
WITH US!

SEARCH THE SITE



Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Please support our sponsors (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page





Events Calendar
(click for info)

Jamaica Events Calendar




Tips & Tricks For Your Jamaica Vacation!

Jamaica Travel Guide

Click Here To Get Your Copy

What's New?

Below is a list of the very latest articles I posted on the site.

Recent Articles

  1. Bad News, Good News

    Aug 29, 15 03:52 PM

    I hope you are doing well today. I consider you (and all my website fans) a very important part of my life, and so, I feel I need to bring you up to speed

    Read More

  2. Jamaica's Usain Bolt Won Gold - Again!

    Aug 23, 15 11:55 AM

    Yessssss! Our very own Usain Bolt defied the odds today to re-write his name in the record books, and perhaps equally important, save the sport of Athletics.

    Read More

  3. Authentic Jamaican Soursop Juice Recipe

    Aug 17, 15 08:56 AM

    Remember the good 'ole' Jamaican soursop juice? Well, if you've ever had it the traditional Jamaican style, you would have surely remembered. It is one

    Read More



Resources

Do Like I Did, Start YOUR Own Business
- Part-Time! Click Here


Friendly Links

  1. Our Partners & Friends
  2. Catcha Falling Star Villas
  3. Wade Hilton Jamaican Author
  4. The Jamaica Real Estate Guide
  5. Medicinal Herbs-4u.com
  6. DancehallReggaeWorld.com
Interested in becoming a partner? email me here

Buy Me A Drink


(Click on the drink below)