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Peeling Orange & Noh Lickle Twang - World Poetry Day 2024

Today is World Poetry Day, an annual celebration observed on March 21st since its adoption by UNESCO in 1999. According to UNESCO's website, World Poetry Day serves as a tribute to poets, a platform to revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, a catalyst for promoting the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry, a medium for fostering the intersection of poetry with other art forms such as theatre, dance, music, and painting, and an opportunity to amplify the visibility of poetry in the media.

For my post today, I am sharing two poems by Caribbean poets. The first, penned by Mervyn Morris, made me laugh when I read it, so I decided that was reason enough to share it today. The second poem is written by Miss Lou, a poet many will be familiar with. In a recent class, we had the privilege of having a Jamaican classmate recite another one of Miss Lou's poems, which enhanced the experience. While many of our Jamaican accents may not be up to the mark, (lol), reading this one out loud with gusto adds an extra dimension!

I hope you enjoy these! Do you have a favourite Caribbean poet or poem? Comment below. I would love to explore their work!

Peeling Orange by Mervyn Morris

Dem use to seh

yu peel a orange perfec

an yu get new clothes

But when mi father try

fi teach mi

slide de knife

up to de safeguard thumb

I move de weapon like a saw inna mi han

and de dyamn rind break

An if yu have de time

yu can come see mi

in mi ole clothes


NOH LICKLE TWANG by Louise Bennet

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".




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1 Comment

Mar 25

So Good! I think we need to hear a Jamaican say that one! I loved the peelin in me old clothes!

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