Wednesday 18 January 2012

A year in Jamaica

Earlier tonight, I was doing some university work and came across a truly enchanting recording of the poem Two Seasons by Valerie Bloom, which I really had to share. Bloom is Jamaican, and writes a lot of her work in Jamaican dialect, such as this poem. I just love listening to the exotic sound as she describes the feel of the climate and its effect on nature – perhaps the perfect escape for those of us who are tethered knee deep in winter cold!

Here are the first two verses:

We don' have a Springtime like some folk
Who live in dem colder place,
but we have a time when de soft rain come,
an' tease open de seedcase
o' de poincianna and de trumpet tree,
An' whisper to de young cane to wake
when de guangu blossom is pink an' white
powder-puff, prettying up de earth face.
But not like Spring in dem colder place.

We have no Summer when Springtime done
no change o' season as such,
but we have a time when de asphalt bubble
in de hot sun, when yuh dare not touch
de tarmac wid yuh barefoot; when de heat is
a dancin' dervice who wi' grab yuh
an' spin yuh till de sweat is a river flowin' down,
an' yuh too tired fe de anything much.
But we don' have a summer as such.

If you want to read the whole poem, it's available at The Poetry Archive. There's also a recording of it there, too, if you want to listen at the same time (which I highly recommend!)