BOOK TITLE: Jamaica Mi Paradise
REVIEWER: Karl Vernon
Poetry is like oxygen…it breathes us a live….it directs our consciousness to the altar of happiness and peace. The collection of nine poems are so intimately tied to the soil and the spirit of Jamaica it makes one feel relaxed under a hot day under a cool star apple tree.
The poems convey the struggles of a young democracy, the hopes of its people and the path walked to attain the characteristics of the typical Jamaican and his/her culture.
Jamaica No Problem posits the inner workings of who is and what makes a Jamaican. It struts forth with peacock pride or arrogance in describing the DNA of Jamaicans. The poems are all fruits in a lovely basket and none has disturbed the imagination…they have lifted Jamaica to the ethereal pantheons of paradise…a paradise gained and NOT lost. The poems are all a mix of colloquial street talk/patois and formal English… it gives a succinct feel.
The use of more than one diction-Creole and English- sets one pattern against the other which is inimical of the psyche of Jamaica. The two different cultures of Jamaica, juxtaposed to a quilt work of a beautifully composed material.
One does not have to strain to comprehend the simplicity employed in the poem. The author does not dive off into the deep end with academic and nuanced language. Poetry are more than words and this collection can be described as an idyll…and it floats on masculine rhymes e.g. in the poem Jamaica Nice, the author states
“When we jerk the chicken and the pork
You’ll put away your knife and fork’
Masculine rhymes are where the rhyme is stressed on the last syllable of the last word on the line. Technicality aside, the poems are a refreshing long drink of ice cold coconut water on a hot day. They are all a tribute to the achievements of Jamaica/Jamaica and it is like sweet hot peppered curry.
Bees and plants are said to communicate by electrical signals and poetry is simply no different. Puissant pumping poetry pummeling pumpkin feelings leaving the brain well fed and charged. The list of the poems is as follows
Jamaica No Problem
Jamaica Nice Bad
Must be Paradise
Jamaica Mi Paradise
Jamaica Nice Caan Done
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