28 June 2009
A Jamaican Poem - 'Back to Africa'
I love this poem by the late great Louise Bennett, also known as 'Miss Lou'. This poem is written in the Jamaican patois and deals with Miss Mattie's yearning to go back to Africa.
Miss Lou questions this desire very eloquently. Let me know what you think.
'Back to Africa'
Back to Africa, Miss Mattie?
You no know wha you dah seh?
You haf fe come from somewhe fus
Before you go back deh!
Me know say dat you great great great
Granma was African,
But Mattie, doan you great great great
Granpa was Englishman?
Den you great granmader fader
By you fader side was Jew?
An you granpa by you mader side
Was Frenchie parlez-vous?
But de balance a you family,
You whole generation,
Oonoo all barn dung a Bun Grung-
Oonoo all is Jamaican!
Den is weh you gwine, Miss Mattie?
Oh, you view de countenance,
An between you an de Africans
Is great resemblance!
Ascorden to dat, all dem blue-yeye
Who-fa great granpa was Englishman
Mus go back a Englan!
What a debil of a bump-an-bore,
Rig-jig an palam-pam
Ef de whole worl start fe go back
Whe dem great granpa come from!
Ef a hard time you dah run from
Tek you chance! But Mattie, do
Sure a whe you come from so you got
Somewhe fe come back to!
Go a foreign, seek you fortune,
But no tell nobody say
You dah go fe seek you homelan,
For a right deh so you deh!