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My Favourite Jamaican Poems
Like Jamaican proverbs, the Jamaican poems captures the spontaneity of the expressions of our joy and sorrows; our ready, poignant and even wicked wit, our religion and philosophy of life. Many too are deep social commentary.
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Arguably, the mother of Jamaican poetry, the late great Louise Bennett-Coverly, through her poems in Jamaican patois, raised the dialect of the Jamaican folk to an art level which became acceptable and appreciated by all in and outside of Jamaica.
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Today, we have a host of modern day Jamaican poets who are helping in their own way to preserve this rich cultural heritage.
The list is long but two that stands out in my mind is the ever effervescent Joan Andrea Hutchinson and the radical Mutabaruka.
Needless to say that most of my favourite poems were written by the one and only Mama Lou (Miss Louise Bennett- Coverly).
- Dry-Foot Bwoy
- Back to Africa
- Social Climbing
- Noh Little Twang!
'All a dem nice', but my ultimate favourite is NOH LICKLE TWANG!
This poem bemoans the fact that a recent repatriate Jamaican returned from the United States without a trace of having been there -not even a little "twang"!
NOH LICKLE TWANG
NOH LICKLE TWANG by Louise Bennett
Me glad fe se's you come back bwoy,
But lawd yuh let me dung,
Me shame o' yuh soh till all o'
Me proudness drop a grung.
Yuh mean yuh goh dah 'Merica
An spen six whole mont' deh,
An come back not a piece betta
Dan how yuh did goh wey?
Bwoy yuh noh shame? Is soh you come?
Afta yuh tan soh lang!
Not even lickle language bwoy?
Not even little twang?
An yuh sista wat work ongle
One week wid 'Merican
She talk so nice now dat we have
De jooce fe undastan?
Bwoy yuh couldn' improve yuh self!
An yuh get soh much pay?
Yuh spen six mont' a foreign, an
Come back ugly same way?
Not even a drapes trouziz? or
A pass de rydim coat?
Bwoy not even a gole teet or
A gole chain roun yuh t'roat.
Suppose me las' rne pass go introjooce
Yuh to a stranga
As me lamented son wat lately
Come from 'Merica!
Dem hooda laugh afta me, bwoy
Me could'n tell dem soh!
Dem hooda sey me lie, yuh was
A-spen time back a Mocho.
Noh back-ansa me bwoy, yuh talk
Too bad; shet up yuh mout,
Ah doan know how yuh an yuh puppa
Gwine to meck it out.
Ef yuh want please him meck him tink
Yuh bring back someting new.
Yuh always call him "Pa" dis evenin'
Wen him come sey "Poo".
Note! You can get the words of the other four (4) here.
Its an PDF file, so you may need Adobe Acrobat to open it.
If you are looking to purchase her works, you can check this website dedicated to her or do a quick search on Amazon.com.
By the way, other notable Jamaican poets includes:
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If you are looking to purchase her works, you can check this website dedicated to her or do a quick search on Amazon.com, they have some specials there..
Other notable Jamaican poets includes:
- The illustrious Claude Mckay
- Edward Baugh
- Lorna Goodison
- John Figueroa
- A. L. Hendriks
- Oku Onuora
- Roger Mais
- Linton Kwesi Johnson
- Oku Onuora
- Jeremyah Fasi
PLUS, Magazines and anthology of J'can Poems are now all over the internet, just check your favourite online store for more.
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Millennial Agony Not rated yet
Millennial Agony || Jamaican Poem
We're children of peace,
Our parents have already fought the big wars,
The Dark Lord has been vanquished never …
Day 5 -20,334//Magic I See Not rated yet
Magic I See | Jamaican Poem
I like the birds and bees,
I like sunshine
on the blue seas.
Show me nature in it's prime
Utter complexity …
Entropy Not rated yet
Entropy | Jamaican Poem
A shinobi is one who endures,
Step by step
Time is cruel,
I feel the pain of my fellow man, …
Warrior Nation (Jamaican Poem) Not rated yet
My beloved land renowned for diversity
Out of many one people from many seeds a great oak stemmed
Though an island pillaged rebels removed from one's …
Proud Jamaican (Poem) Not rated yet
Mi proud to be a Jamaican
Mi sey mi proud to be a Jamaican
Like any oder nation wi have problems
But wid a lickle unity, we can solve dem.
A jus’ …
JAMAICAN FOOD (POEM) Not rated yet
JAMAICAN FOOD (PATOIS/PATWA STYLE)
Some sey banana
Ah plantain still
Wi belly it fill
Fry inna …
Poem: The masterpiece by Jawansa Graham Not rated yet
Even when they procrastinate, the work of art is with one and is a beautiful thing to behold!
Art forms that are brought forward are embedded within …
Naah figet my country Jamaica (Poem) Not rated yet
I'm a jamaican first That's my land. Suh noh ask me who me be, Or wehh me come from. Naah figet my country Jamaica, No day,no way Di ackee n di saltfish …
A burden that lasts for a lifetime (Poem) Not rated yet
Why should one not expressed their feelings? Human they are and not robots, love thou shall feel or life will be a hole.
One should open their heart …
Golden rule (Jamaican Poem) Not rated yet
JAMAICA POEM: The Golden Rule You choose to refuse to abide by a rule
Dont be a fool long side a mule, follow the Golden Rule
One rule could save your …
August Mawnin Come Again - Poem Not rated yet
JAMAICA POEM: AUGUST MAWNIN COME AGAIN
Augus’ mawnin come again
Jubilation in di air
Ankcestors rise up an’ draw near
Dem noh ‘ave no fear
Politrix (Poem) Not rated yet
Politrix Politrix. Oops, I meant Politics.
And I thought that trix were for kids; the tricks they pick brainwashes our natural instincts.
Nice to be back a yaard (poem) Not rated yet
So nice to be back a yaard.
This poem is from one of our most ardent fans, friend, and Jamaican enthusiast, Sistren Jen for the UK. She wrote this …
Hero Nanny Poem, by Louise Bennett Not rated yet
Hero Nanny Peom
By Louise Bennett
We have one Jamaican proverb what say “If breeze no blow, yuh no know say dot fowl got skin.”
An lawks, missis, …
Nanny Of The Maroons (Poem) Not rated yet
A strong and able woman,
Born in Ghana of the Ashanti Tribe,
Transported to Jamaica,
As a slave and lived and died
In Nanny Town
High in the …
Jamaicans, Poem by Christine Laud Not rated yet
by Christine Laud
We are Jamaicans, and we are proud,
We stand out in the crowd,
Whether it is our dialect or our desire to succeed,
Journey Through Time - Poem Not rated yet
Journey Through Time
by Barbara King
(In celebration of Emancipation)
In times of old we lived as kings and queens
Able to follow all our …
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.
To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.
His efforts have earned him featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities.
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