Jamaican Poetry
Its History & Development

start_here_if_new_image_link
Custom Search




Jamaican Poetry, contributed by Tracie Blake

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

New! Click here to read my top- tier list of recommended products and services.


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

Read More ...

New! Comments

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

Recommended For You ...

And, Before You Go!

Here (below) are some sweet deals on matching products at Amazon that you might have otherwise missed.

Amazon.com, by the way, is the internet's most reputable retailer and usually showcases only the best products that are related to your search. Be sure to check them out.

Note: If link does not show, please click here to be redirected to our page at Amazon.com.


Great Articles You Might Have Missed

data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="3"

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

Also connect with My-Island-Jamaica.com on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find exactly what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.


About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

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 8,300 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.

He invites you to join his friends list and stay updated on all the latest. You are also invited to join his exclusive patron community

copyscpe
Top Of Page
Wellesley Gayle

What's New? Click Here And See.

Trending Now

Site Sponsors

jamaica_click_down_here_visit_our_sponsors

Our Preferred Sponsors  & Friends (below)

(Our Sponsorship Policy)

Photographers in Jamaica
Wedding Photographers
NEW! JOIN MY PATREON COMMUNITY! Click Here For Details.
Cars For Sale In Jamaica
Cars For Sale

JamaicaSunshine Tours.com

Click Here to Visit Our Sponsors' Page

Top Articles

What's New?

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

Recent Articles

  1. What goods and services does Jamaica produce?

    Sep 23, 18 11:33 PM

    Answered by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer Thanks for your question! I love the questions that allows me to show off my island Jamaica :-) But seriously

    Read More

  2. When Is Hurricane Season In Jamaica?

    Sep 22, 18 11:11 PM

    by Devin Saunds-Dunkley, Associate Writer The hurricane season is usually between June 1 and November 30 in Jamaica. During this time we experience rainfall

    Read More

  3. 32 Car Dealers In Jamaica - The Best Auto Dealers in Jamaica

    Sep 21, 18 03:01 PM

    An alphabetic listing of the best ones, yes, the top car dealers in Jamaica

    Read More

  4. Jamaica's Northern Caribbean University - Where Learning Never Ends

    Sep 21, 18 12:22 AM

    Get an insight into one of Jamaica's most distinguished tertiary institution, Northern Caribbean University.

    Read More

New!  I've created a Welcome Audio. Just click the Play button below to listen.

Please subscribe here to get my latest updates.