Songs of Jamaica (Hardcover)

Songs of Jamaica Cover Image
By Claude McKay, Mint Editions (Contribution by)
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Description


Songs of Jamaica (1912) is a poetry collection by Claude McKay. Published before the poet left Jamaica for the United States, Songs of Jamaica is a pioneering collection of verse written in Jamaican Patois, the first of its kind. As a committed leftist, McKay was a keen observer of the Black experience in the Caribbean, the American South, and later in New York, where he gained a reputation during the Harlem Renaissance for celebrating the resilience and cultural achievement of the African American community while lamenting the poverty and violence they faced every day. "Quashie to Buccra," the opening poem, frames this schism in terms of labor, as one class labors to fulfill the desires of another: "You tas'e petater an' you say it sweet, / But you no know how hard we wuk fe it; / You want a basketful fe quattiewut, / 'Cause you no know how 'tiff de bush fe cut." Addressing himself to a white audience, he exposes the schism inherent to colonial society between white and black, rich and poor. Advising his white reader to question their privileged consumption, dependent as it is on the subjugation of Jamaica's black community, McKay warns that "hardship always melt away / Wheneber it comes roun' to reapin' day." This revolutionary sentiment carries throughout Songs of Jamaica, finding an echo in the brilliant poem "Whe' fe do?" Addressed to his own people, McKay offers hope for a brighter future to come: "We needn' fold we han' an' cry, / Nor vex we heart wid groan and sigh; / De best we can do is fe try / To fight de despair drawin' night: / Den we might conquer by an' by-- / Dat we might do." With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Claude McKay's Songs of Jamaica is a classic of Jamaican literature reimagined for modern readers.



Product Details
ISBN: 9781513209388
ISBN-10: 1513209388
Publisher: Mint Editions
Publication Date: August 10th, 2021
Pages: 126
Language: English