Jamaican Poetry
Its History & Development

subscribe here if new
Custom Search




Jamaican Poetry, contributed by Tracie Blake

The Jamaican Dialect of Patois (pronounced Patwa) is a colourful, expressive and dramatic language.

This native tongue is very passionate with variations between the British English and the American English. This has affected how the language of Patois is perceived in Jamaica and the rest of the world.

Poetry is an expressive, creative way of writing and when combined with Patois, it becomes positively explosive. In Jamaican Poetry, we have an opportunity to express ourselves comfortably in our native tongue evoking emotions freely and comfortably.

It was this yearning desire that lead Jamaica’s first poets, Claude Mckay and Thomas MacDermot to write and publish our own poetry in the early 1900s.

McKay and MacDermot were both well-educated and well-traveled but they found their niche in writing Jamaican Poetry.

They opened the door to bring forth the blossoming of Louise Bennett in the late 1900s.

louise_bennett_poetry_book_cover

She was also well-educated and well-traveled with most of her travels taking her to England where the Queen’s English was embedded in her.

She however, felt the need to come back to her roots and later argued and fought for Jamaican Patois to be accepted worldwide as a full language- in the same way as English.

She wanted Patois to be seen as a legitimate language- both in writing and performing literature.

This grew wings in the form of books, newspaper publications, festivals, stage shows and television broadcasts. Over the years, it has been taught in schools and has garnered more publicity by being infiltrated to the world via the worldwide web.

From these eras of poets also sprung poets such as James Berry, Joan Andrea Hutchinson, Geoffrey Philip, Langston Hughes, Ralph Thompson and Valerie Bloom.

Poetry in Jamaica has expanded into Dub Poetry. Dub Poetry is a form of musical poetic expression tied to Reggae Music. It is typically written and performed by Rastafarians with a distinct drumming as the background music. It emerged in the early 1970s when disc-jockeys started "rapping" poems and lyrics to the music they spun.

It soon became popular as a label in Jamaica and on the British scene. The Rastafarian religious beliefs are featured a lot in Dub Poetry and Dub Poets are largely of the Rastafarian Sect. This has been influential in embracing unity and peace amongst political activists in the island.

The first Dub Poets emerging were Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora and in Britain, Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Rastafarian religious beliefs are used a lot in dub poetry. Dub Poetry is mainly done through oral performances but has found itself in written forms over the years.

yasus_afari_dub_poet

A Jamaica Gleaner photo

Other Dub Poets include Yasus Afari (Above), Malachi, Prince Far I, Michael Smith, Jean “Binta” Breeze, Levi "Tafari", Delroy and the most recent sensation, 'DYCR' Chandler.

Related Pages

Return to Jamaica Culture from Jamaican Poetry
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Jamaican Poetry

P.S. By the way, will you be vacationing in Jamaica soon? 
Please CLICK HERE to book your flight, hotel or cruise with us and $ave.

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). 


What's New? Here Are The Very Latest Articles I Added

Recent Articles

  1. Best Attractions In Negril Jamaica? Try Blue Hole Mineral Springs

    Dec 20, 14 04:11 PM

    Blue Hole Mineral Spring is one of the rarest hidden gems in Jamaica and is one of the most authentic of attractions in Negril Jamaica

    Read More

  2. Christmas in Negril, Jamaica, Wwhat is it like?

    Dec 13, 14 11:39 PM

    We're spending our first visit ever in Jamacia. What's the Christmas like in Negril or anywhere on the Island? ANSWER: BY Wellesley Gayle Hello there

    Read More

  3. A Charter Flight To Jamaica? Here Are Your Best Options

    Dec 08, 14 10:53 PM

    Looking for a cheap charter flight to Jamaica? Here is a list of the top ones from the USA, UK and Canada

    Read More


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:

Now, It's Your Turn!  :-)

I'd like to hear from you, please click here to share your thoughts and opinions, right now.

New! Comments

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

copyscpe

Didn't find exactly what you were looking for?
Click Here to do a quick search of the entire site

Top Of Page

And please, consider 
BOOKING YOUR TRAVEL 
WITH US
!

SEARCH THE SITE



Site Sponsors

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Tips & Tricks For Your Jamaica Vacation!

Jamaica Travel Guide

Click Here To Get Your Copy

Recent Articles

  1. Best Attractions In Negril Jamaica? Try Blue Hole Mineral Springs

    Dec 20, 14 04:11 PM

    Blue Hole Mineral Spring is one of the rarest hidden gems in Jamaica and is one of the most authentic of attractions in Negril Jamaica

    Read More

  2. Christmas in Negril, Jamaica, Wwhat is it like?

    Dec 13, 14 11:39 PM

    We're spending our first visit ever in Jamacia. What's the Christmas like in Negril or anywhere on the Island? ANSWER: BY Wellesley Gayle Hello there

    Read More

  3. A Charter Flight To Jamaica? Here Are Your Best Options

    Dec 08, 14 10:53 PM

    Looking for a cheap charter flight to Jamaica? Here is a list of the top ones from the USA, UK and Canada

    Read More


What Makes Jamaica Special?

Sports
Food
Reggae
People
Blue Mountain Coffee
Beaches
Other

Please enter the word that you see below.

  


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

Stay In Touch



Buy Me A Drink


(Click on the drink below)