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PUBLISHED BY THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
The Development of Jamaican Language -
The Editor Interviews Charles Hyatt............. 2
Quaco Sam A Relic of Archaic
Jamaican Speech......................................Barbara Lalla 20
Some Remnants of German Heritage in
Jamaican Speech..................................Elizabeth Muller 30
A.C.I.J. Linguistic Notes........................................ 31
Wooing With Words Some Comments
on the Poetry of Lora Goodison.........Pamela Mordecai 34
The Letter from London................Pauline H.V. Gordon 41
Errol Lloyd Jamaican Painter
in London..............................................Pamela Bowen 46
Walcott & Painting................................. Marian Stewart 56
Publications Received............................ .......... 69
Deep Sea Mining Its Promises
And Potential.............................Raymond M. Wright 70
Energy An Overview............................... Gerald Lalor 79
Energy and the Earth Sciences....... ...Raymond M. Wright 91
Cultural Effects of the Transfer
of Technology ............................Arnoldo K. Ventura 97
The Cultural Training Centre on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston,
integrating the disciplines of four schools: art, music, dance and
(Photo Keith Morrison)
The city of Kingston, showing the Waterfront Development
Area. (Photo courtesy Urban Development Corporation)
FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION PLEASE SEE PAGE 69
the editor interviews:
.. ... ^S1iSrifsK a~) (* IT:!^) E
Charles Hyatt was born and educated in Jamaica. He entered amateur
theatricals at an early age, culminating with eleven successive appearances in
the Annual Pantomine. In 1959 he was elected Actor of the Year and awarded a
Jamaica Arts Council Scholarship and British Council Bursary.
After an attachment to the Theatre Royal in Windsor he was cast as the West
Indian doctor in BBC's longest running radio serial, Mrs. Dale's Diary. During
his thirteen year career in Britain and Europe he made over 200 appearances on
radio and television, including stage and cabaret appearances for. BBC Home,
Third, Light and Caribbean Service, and BBC, ITV, GRANADA, LONDON
WEEKEND TV, including Crown Court and Love Thy Neighbour.
He toured Britain and Europe with a number of productions for the Oxford
Playhouse and other groups, appearing in West End run of A Share In The Sun
with Jessie Matthews. His film appearances include High Wind In Jamaica
with Anthony Quinn and Charles Coburn, Croseplot with Roger Moore, The
'Comedians with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He also did MC
appearances with Sammy Davis Jnr. in UK and Jamaica.
In 1974 Charles returned to Jamaica to rejoin Jamaica Broadcasting
Corporation where he is now Head of the Department of Theatre. He also
produced Santa Fari which placed in the first five of a BBC world competition.
In 1977 Charles was awarded Actor of the Year, in 1978 he received the Silver
Musgrave Medal of the Institute of Jamaica, in 1980 the Institute Centenary
Medal, and the National Honour of OD (the Order of Distinction).
SMB: Where do we start with an historical per-
spective of how we came to speak the way we do?
CH: Let us try to start from what I consider a
very important point Shirley. Something which we
have to have understood and gotten out of the
way, because if not it will keep coming back
and tripping us up,and we maynot even be conscious
of it what it is that is tripping us up:
To deal with the cultural complexity of the
Jamaican Black, how this came about. The facts are
there: we were taken from parts of Africa most of
which can be identified historically and recorded, and
we can even go as far as to identify not only the area,
but almost the race of people and this is an
important thing. You might find that the race is very
mixed with various groups, perhaps Muslim and
other groups, but mostly Muslim: well any way.... a
lot of people if we can visualise an horrific
situation like that a lot of people are taken and
thrust into a ship, I don't mean that all the people
who were thrust into one ship were indeed (as has
been proven) from a particular area or district. No.
You had a mixture of people. It was just a case of
which ship was available at a wharf at a time to take
the hundreds of people; like when is banana shipping
time in Portland. So much so, that as we know, the
slaves had difficulty communicating with each other
in the hold of the ship. Differing groups, with
differing dialects of a common language, had been
A ship comes to Jamaica, and after that other
ships come to Jamaica, all on the same pattern; and
those who were responsible for taking a people out of
a culture which was already considered a mixed
culture by the standard there then had them
ensconced into a strange culture, the Arawak
culture. And then the transporters, not satisfied with
doing that, impose another culture, their own, upon
the passengers the reluctant passengers.
Now the transporters culture was also very
diversified as it turned out. As far as the Spanish
were concerned, Columbus himself was Genoese ...
and afterwards not only was it English, but it was
also Welsh, and you even had your Dutch and
whatever else thrown in. Anyway what happened to
the Blacks and their descendants, is that they had
several cultures foisted upon them in a strange
environment. They had to communicate and deal
with several cultures at once while trying to hold on
to their own. The peculiar thing is that numerically,
you would have thought it would not be difficult for
one set of people who outnumber another set of
people, to decide what ought to be done but in fact
it did not go that way, it was quite the opposite. A
small .number of people (the transporters) foisted
their culture and several cultures upon a vast
AND ITS DEVELOPMENT
Now the result of that action of some hundreds of
years ago, has led to the confusion of today, and that
is what we are trying to deal with in this exercise.
Because the culture that was handed to the people
lasted for the most part in its original state, or some
of its original state, for over three hundred years,
that is to say, the descendants of the people who
became slaves, had to talk their mother tongue to
their mother, and talk what was to become known as
a "mother tongue" from another country, a different
country in fact as vastly different as black from
white. There are a lot of us today, although the
number is dwindling very fast, who still use the term
'mother country'. When referring to Britain. They
might not necessarily use it, but when the term is
used they get a first thought. ...
We keep coming up against this point in every
discussion about culture: the conflicting and
ambivalent attitude from the black child to the white
mother an attitude often referred to as
Now this of course is what I am coming to, that
there are a number of us who think in terms of
"mother country" as the Queen of England. Think of
"mother" as that. Heh Heh, and the strange thing,
well really it is not strange, it is very pitiful .... there
was a time when the mother country was in conflict
with another country which called itself the
"fatherland" and the schizophrenia even took on
another dimension, because the same children who
are adopted from next door, are using the language
of the mother which is looking after them (the
guardian), and have to refer to a fatherland when
referring to Germany, and the motherland when
referring to Britain.
But Germany is in fact a progenitor of the British
race. Some Germans still insist that the English
'language is a form of Low German.
We will come back to the language later ...
neither of these two places bear any resemblance
genetically to the existence of the child. So to say
"schizophrenia", not only is there a split, but there is
a confusion, in that the different personalities are not
The one that cannot be denied is one that we see in
the mirror. ...
The one that we see in the mirror. How much of
the self-image has been imposed by another culture?
What effect this had upon the speech and attempted
speech patterns upon the acceptance or rejection
of the native way of speech, or upon the aping of
something which was in fact, for lack of a better
term, "psychically out of tune with ourselves".?
I like that "psychically out of tune". Now
remember I have put the Preface in order to get
something out of the way, or to get something into
the way, to have it carefully understood so that each
time we come to it the "something" which is likely
to trip us up we know what it is.
If you will look back over the years from the
thirties and the forties, you will find that the
Jamaican has been credited by all and sundry with
whom he has had to come into contact abroad, as
being a most adept person. This thing, this ability to
be so adept, is something that came out of the
practice of all the cultures that the Jamaican had to
go through; and as a result the Jamaican goes to
America for example, and within a couple of weeks
he is so fluent in Americanese, that if he should go to
another part of the U.S.A., he is indentifiable by the
accent of the first settling point, until he acquires
But it is this gift which enables you for example,
to function as a media professional in England, and
return to deep Creole here without taking a
No it is not a gift. This facility is one of the things
that I have been thinking about, things that we have
regarded as God-blessed, are probably in fact
disadvantages. The assuming of differing
personalities has kept us from the development of
Charles Hyatt in BBC-2 TV drama Bloodknot 1966. The story of two South
African half-brothers, one with a black, and the other with a white father.
Photos: John Cura Tele Snap
our own, our true selves.
One of the things which has been taken for granted
is that the "gift" of mimickery derives from a West
African tradition of lampoonery.
The West African cannot cast off his accent and
assume another in the same way as the Jamaican.
The ability has been acquired through the many
cultures thrust upon us ... it might become totally
invalid with the new generation, I don't mean my
children or your children, I mean the new
psychological generation. ...
The other point that we must bear in mind is that
the people who were originally transported, were an
oral people. Not that they did not write, but their
tradition was of a one-to-one communication.
Even if they wrote Arabic, as some of the slaves
must have, and I think there are historical records of
accounts having been kept in Arabic by a slave; still
it was a one-to-one oral tradition.
Indeed, indeed. But the Arabic Scribal tradition
was buried, and the Black now had to deal with
another written tradition for which he did not have
the technique; and he had lost the techniques which
the Africans must have had in order to be in the
stage that they were at the time of being
And the tradition of the Griot, the repository,
guardian, and transmitter of the history and the
culture, was also lost.
Yes. What happened was something like this: here
is a guardian. You are a ward of Court, and the Court
dictates how you are to live.
And the owners have all the rights of possession as
You are in the Queens Warehouse. Heh heh, you
are a source of revenue. You are a ward of Court, and
the Court dictates how you must behave. Which
despite the three hundred years of first impressions,
is still alien to our intrinsic ethnic make up.
The Court decides how you must live. But the
agents of the Court were frequently people of not
very much education or background, so that the
forms of speech which they brought, were not the
tones of the Coffee Houses of London, but are
reflected in the dropping and adding of H's.
Well now you see, that is exactly it. When the
Court makes a decision about what is to happen to
the ward, it is the policeman or agent who carries out
what the Court says. Right, so what happened was
this: you are influenced from a scribal society, a
society which writes, and writes, and writes, and
writes ... and feels that it alone is right.
You are increasingly, as you go from the
eighteenth into the nineteenth century, influenced by
a society which regards empirical deduction and
pedestrian explanation as the only form of reasoning
and communication, so you tend to lose the
knowledge of instinctive and intrinsic means of
communication and understanding.
Oh well, that did not occur to the Court, the Court
could not care less about that! It only knows that it
has an order that is being carried out. It is outside
the imagination of the Court, because the Court is
Charlie, I think the 'order of the Court' analogy is
subject to misunderstanding, in that this order had
nothing to do with the interests of the ward, but
rather to do with the proprietary rights of the Court
Precisely. The imposition of the language was
simply to make it easier for the Court to get and
also for the ward to give what was profitable to
the Court. In other words, if I am able to say to you
'Move this', and 'lift that', it saves a lot of time and a
lot of translation. So that you were quite right, the
order had nothing to do with the interests or
development of the person.
Allright, so the Africans are not permitted to
speak their own language, and they not only bring
with them a West African tradition of lampoonery,
but also they resort then to making jokes and
communicating by way of song song which is not
understood by Massa.
Yes, but before we get there ... you must clearly
understand this foundation, this line-laying. I have
been giving a lot of thought to some of the things
that were "given" things that we came to accept;
and I have been questioning a lot of these things ...
So let us get the historical (physical) facts; get them
very clear and find out all the little areas about what
happened, why they happened, why we have what we
have today. Finally, how we are going to use this
knowledge to determine what we will do in the
Alright .... we did mention about the"policeman"
having come from various parts of Britain and
Europe. This is a contributing factor and will form a
very important part of what we are trying to find.
Because the Judge could not be expected to stand in
the sun, in the first place, to see that the decision of
the Court was carried out, and the Court had at its
disposal, people who could do that. So the people
who could do that, some were Welsh people, some
were Irish people, some were Scots and so forth.
Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Lebanese, Indians
and Germans came here, Chinese and French came
here, all through manipulation because lets face it
anybody who came here after the Arawaks, came
through manipulation. And then again you will
probably find like after the Boer War sounds might
have changed, because after that there came the
introduction of another set of people from Africa.
All these people were people in varying degrees of
authority, or with the design that they should be
placed on different rungs of the ladder all above
the status of the African. Wi haffi 'memba dat'.
But before we get to that, we see that in order to
communicate, or to be communicated with, we had to
absorb a multitude of other cultures alien to
ourselves, from Chinese to English ... in order to be
on a certain level ... mind you the other people had
their problems as well. The Jews must have had their
problems, the Syrians must have had problems, the
Chinese must have had problems because they came
here with their mother tongue.
To this day and this generation, one can tell quite
often, on the telephone, even in the young, whether
the voice is Chinese or Indian or Lebanese, even in
Standard English. So that there seems to be a tone
which is transmitted from generation to generation,
genetically or through continuation of imitation in
the home and environment.
The same tone that passes through the Syrian
culture etc., a parallel tone passes through the Black
A parallel and dominant?
Whether it be dominant or not, we are coming to
that... it is a long exercise, where the equation has so
many different 'givens' that by the time you come to
Q.E.D., you probably forget what it was that you
were trying to prove in the first place, So there are
these parallel problems. But still the champion dog is
'the Court'. The Court decides. It had decided in the
first place, that the slaves, for divers reasons, should
speak English. One was because they were afraid of
the slaves, and they were afraid that if they spoke in
their native tongue, then they could plot to
At a vestigial level Charlie, I wonder if some of the
same thinking does not exist in Britain today in
multi-ethnic education, where if you look you will
find that there is almost what appears to be a
deliberate policy, that Black culture must not be
taught to Blacks, except as re-interpreted through
You see there are certain things which really don't
change, and to expect a society like the British
society which has been in existence for so long in its
present form, to change because of the influx of some
Blacks, you are asking too much ... you are really
leading yourself down the garden path. You must
understand that they understand a certain way of
operating, and they will continue to understand that
way of operating, until ... but that is their problem.
We are not going to enter into that.
But to come back to an earlier point, on the
question of the 'majority black' in Jamaica, wasn't
there a substantial time when whites were in the
That substantial time didn't last very long. The
thing is that in order to have companionship,
friendship, etc. there were a lot of things that the
Black had to do, in order to secure being alive. There
were a lot of things that the Blacks had to think
about and develop methods of how to operate. And
strange enough there is a parallel (I am just trying to
push this in ...) with the Blacks in America where
they said in effect: "Hol Strain. 'Tan up! Yu noh sih
what happening' to di Redskins."
If they were rebellious in the same way as the
Redskins were, they would have been decimated in
the same way ...?
Yes. Hence the American Blacks sacrificed
generations of people, ...
At a terrible psychological price ....
Pantomime scene showing Miss Lou and Mas Ran (as Anancy) in foreground pioneers in the use of the Creole language in Jamaican theatre.
Photo: Daily Gleaner
That was inevitable. But it was a risk, and I think
they were very smart, (using now an emotional
thought) and they must have been wise, to have been
inspired that no matter what was lost, or what
seemed to have been lost, for the emergency (for in
cultural terms it was an emergency) the necessity of
the time the genes cannot be lost, and the genes
will come out, as we have seen with Miss Queenie.*
In the absence of organised research for direct
reference, I can only raise the question of that which
is "psychically out of tune" with ourselves. You are
referring to an intrinsic ethnic make-up and I am
deliberately skirting the term "genetic".
It is wise to think of the one while we are dealing
with the other, because they are interconnected,
there are the sleepers between the rails. You know in
geometry they tell you parallel lines never meet ...
but they must be connected, and the sleepers will
keep the two parallel lines parallel or they will go
apart, or will meet. Out of this stew, this
conglomeration of cultures with which Black people
had to deal to operate successfully comes
modernr times", generally accepted as being
Jamaican. Quite honestly, as I see it, 'modern times'
have not yet become Jamaican; what has happened
is that it has begun to divest itself of unJamaican ...
It has taken off one garment, but has not yet fully
Right. And right now, what is going to happen,
whether with guidance or with inspiration, will
determine what garment it will wear.
What is "Jamaican" going to be from this
mixture, is it going to be a tartan a plaid, a polka
dot? Or is it going to be a colour?
Whatever it is going to be in the modern context,
it must have Standard English, because that is the
way the global village communicates; and scribal
English, because the transfer of technology is upon
us, and it cannot be reversed.
I agree; but I will not use the word must, it will
have to take the consequences of whatever it
assumes now, and they (the new generation) after
having had so many things thrust upon them, can
decide right now 'to hell with the lot of it'. And it will
be a long time before the culture survives that; or it
will remain in that state. What we should try to do
now is to find the real roots and expose them. In
other words fork-up and air the roots, so that the tree
which is developing will be able to breathe properly,
and bring forth not just bastard fruit, but the true
fruit which is inherent in us.
Side two tape:
What we have established with that
socio-historical background is a hub, a focal point to
which to refer each time. It is the hub from which all
the spokes are going to move, to the clear line
outside. And that is the purpose of the exercise -
hopefully when we shall have gotten to that clear
line. And we are just about to start.
Allright: we have today a manner of speech or a
mode of speech and a manner of speaking ... which is
commonly accepted as Jamaican. The reason why it
is commonly accepted as Jamaican is because it has
one basis and that is an accent. That is it has a
sound, a phonetic sound that wherever you go and
this is an experience of mine no matter where in
the world you go and you hear a Jamaican, no matter
how long detached, it will only take a little while for
another Jamaican ....
If it takes any time at all ... and there is of course
Yes. Now this accent is comprised of a tone, and as
you say a rhythm. The rhythm and the tone didn't
necessarily come from. the same area, they did not
necessarily come from or start in the same place -
they are two things which have interwoven
themselves to become part of the building material.
We are not trying to assess now which has the more
influence, whether it is the tone or the rhythm ... we
will eventually come to that if we are lucky -
with this exercise; if it is important. But the accent:
it is quite possible that in my working out of the
equation I am likely to base what I consider to be my
findings on what could be described as emotional,
but I don't apologise for that, because I come back
again to the question of the intrinsic ethnic make-up,
which is a fact. So the emotion is only a word used
to identify something which is really motivated by a
scientific base of actuality the genes.
If it is as you say a scientific actuality, it is one
which western science cannot yet articulate ...
That is their problem. I have been thinking about
these things, and I decided check the genes, that
is the one thing that don't change, you can put them
in different patterns and combinations, but if you
destroy them nothing exists.
We have perhaps several manifestations in our
culture which a lot of people regard as phenomenal;
and because those people were our teachers, and still
are to some extent an influence upon us, we accept
their findings and use them.
We have always been taught to see ourselves with
the eyes of others, so to speak, to look in at ourselves
from outside, rather than from the first person ... and
we have been taught to look at ourselves literally as
others see us as exotica ... or as inferiors.
There is where the psyche the psychological
battering takes place, and I accept that it had a
battering, but the thing that will come to your
assistance, to destroy that thought, or to interrupt
that thought at least, is something which is intrinsic
to our ethnic make-up. Take the example of Miss
Queenie, in Eddie Brathwaite's study "Kumina -
The Spirit of African Survival in Jamaica". In a
state of trance she begins to sprout, what was
formerly regarded as 'unknown tongues', but which
can be recognized and authenticated by scholars of
African languages. This had to be accepted as
"unknown tongues", because it was necessary to
accept it that way in order to be qualified
academically. One had to accept the standard that
was being invoked.
Just like when the Black Americans said
'sacrifice'. We were sacrificing the study of ourselves
the understanding of ourselves; using the papers
of the people who claimed that they were studying us
- but they weren't studying us; they were studying
What I should have said earlier on, is that it is a
fact that the situation in which a Black person from
Africa and his descendants found himself don't
worry about the chauvinistic aspect of the dialogue
is this: He has learned, has had to learn, the
culture of several different people, with whom he has
had to eat, drink, sleep, and live. But the people who
were responsible for putting him in this situation,
that allowed him to do this, never attempted to learn
anything about any of the cultures, other than their
own which they had brought and imposed upon this
rock. So what happened? Here is a person equipped
with the knowledge of several cultures, being
dictated to by a person equipped with only the one
culture and has to operate to the satisfaction of
the person who is singularly equipped:
You mean mono-equipped:
He is monocultural, and we are bilingual and
That is certainly true in the sense that the Creole
of itself has different levels.
Exactly so what the exercise means is that we
have to go through and find the different levels, find
the roots from which to select the Jamaican level.
In this context I want to talk about what I myself
almost referred to as the tendency to 'revert' or
'lapse' into the Creole in certain circumstances. And
this is indicative of our thinking might it be that
Standard English is really a lapse, and not the
Mmmmm Hmmmmm could be. But then you see
this is where those of us who have had the privilege
of education. Heh ... heh ... the academics, have to
rely on the same people who deal with "unknown
tongues", from whom the unknown tongues come; in
order to find the basic root, because you know ...
Agreed ... agreed.
So what happens, I am thoroughly belabouring a
point in trying to emphasize the importance of an
ethnic, perhaps a genetic consideration; but I don't
apologise for this because I believe it is very
Certainly more important than we have recognized
for a long time ...
Let's deal with this phenomena, that someone in
an unconscious state ...
Hold the thought Charlie ... I want to talk about it
in the context and framework of what was considered
culturally and socially fashionable, both in the
United States and here; the concept that integration
was the summit of the Black man's ambition, and
that integration really meant to be accepted as being
'as good as' white. Or to be able to live in the
metropolitan material style-optimally. What it
really in effect amounted to in practical terms in
Jamaica, was that 'Out of Many One People' was
considered and represented as a situation in which a
few [sometimes very gifted] Blacks were grudgingly
accepted into the company of the average White [the
rare gifted white in this society, dealt with the Black
at a truer level of acceptance]. But what many
Blacks now recognize is that form of ambition is a
denial of identity and a destruction of something
which is intrinsic to ourselves.
The difference between the 'integration' of
wherever it is people wanted to be integrated is that
there is little resemblance to people knowing or
trying to find out about themselves. Integration is
purely a political privilege. If in order to have a
fridge at the right price, (that is the price for which it
ought to be sold), it is necessary for me to be
integrated, then I will have to be integrated ...
otherwise if I even get the chance to go into the shop,
then I am going to have to pay an exhorbitant price
for the fridge. While when I am integrated, and the
same laws that govern A govern B also, then I pay
the normal price for it.
I take your point ...
Now we must accept one thing, that Black people
originally, and when I say originally, I mean
pre-slavery, didn't have any problems about what
they were or who they were.
And certainly no concept of black inferiority.
Quite so the status quo was what it was "I
am black and you are white, aren't you strange!"
What happened was another social problem. That is,
the people who were brought at the various levels of
authority above the slaves, were not brought as
families. They were brought as male persons to work
- and there is a certain biological necessity that
arises out of a situation like that. Whether it
happened against people's will or not, is not the
point in this exercise. What we are concerned with
here, is the result of the intermixture.
Now when the result comes about and we start to
have a new word even probably at that time the
word was coined by the rulers 'MULATTO'.
For the most part the class kept together as best
they could, but in the early times the mixture was
Black and White, straight down the line. No six or
seven eights of one race or another.
Such vulgar fractions as quadroon and the
octaroon were not yet required social arithmetic.
And we come back to the genes ...
Hold the thought Charlie ... In the Natural
History Museum of the Institute of Jamaica there is
a stuffed owl, the Jamaican owl, known as the patu.
This was labelled "potoo" because it was classified
by an American who could not say "patu", could not
use the back of his mouth, even after many years in
Jamaica. But black Americans cannot make the
sound, and white Jamaicans can; surely this is
cultural and not genetic. Almost every American -
of any colour, has difficulty pronouncing the letter
"T" between two vowels, he tends to give this the
value of "D" we might get "Podoo". But in
general, the English do not have this difficulty ...
A black or White American who is in transit, here
for a short time, you know, is not making any effort
to give up what he considers his origins as an
American, to say that he cannot say the word is not
necessarily right ... given time if he were to put his
mind to it. If his mind were Jamaican, if he had given
up his association with America, psychologically, he
would be more able to do it. I have no doubt that
with the help of his genes ... this is one where the
psyche does it. Y'annastan'?
There are the two things that I say keep running
parallel to each other the whole way, at times one
comes to the surface, and at times the other comes to
the surface. They change places along the line, but
they never leave each other's side. Anytime you
manage to get them separated, then you get right
down to the nitty gritty.
What happen now, is the beginning of a Creole,
using the Creole as being neither African nor
Spanish, neither African nor English, neither
African nor French ... neither African nor Welsh, etc.
neither African nor Chinese ... which means that
there is a Creole with an African base in terms of the
Black and which consists of English, Spanish,
Dutch, Chinese, Indian whatever.
What has happened over years of spreading,
scattering, dilution, whatever term is most apt ... is
that the genetic ability or the genes, and also the
further spreading of the relationship, has given rise
to different modes, manners of speech which we used
to call regional, because there was a time when there
were distinct regional forms of speech in Jamaica.
The different parishes, notably St. Elizabeth had
their own modes of speech.
Now this, and we know the historic factor of St.
Elizabeth, the strong Ibo influence, and then again,
you remember that there was, in fact, quite a
German thing, and although they eventually lost the
ability to make the German gutterals, their attempt
at the African base, created a new sound.
I think some linguists say that accents
conventionally vary within a radius of forty miles.
And this certainly must have been true before the
days of electronic media and travel.
Indeed, the one thing whose accent never changed
was the drum ... a goatskin drum has one sound
forever, and if you make a drum out of log, there will
be a constant log sound etc., etc., it sounds like what
it is supposed to be. When you are communicating
within a forty-mile radius with a drum, there is no
change between what left it and what is received.
You understand? But when you walking from here to
there, you find that ova deh something over there
sound different, and you know the classic story of
the Commander in the Great War, under pressure,
and him sen' a message dung di line an seh. "Send
reinforcements we are going to advance", and by
time it get dung di line to headquarters, it seh "Send
three and fourpence, we are going to a dance".
We must take into account all the physical things
which would have caused a development, or a
deviation from a base, and the base is the African
base. Now I am not going into at this time whether
the African genes are stronger than the other genes,
that is somebody else job ...
Let an expert err in his own specialist field ...
Exactly, and even him will fine out seh him wrong
So here we have now, in an era of lack of
communication, groups forming all over the place -
because every group had a dis an a dat an a di ada
eena it: they were self-sufficient, in that the Syrian
for example, who had a culture of merchandising
from way back pre-historic times, he operated within
his culture as he had every right to, in the
community in which he was and he was part of
that self-sufficient community. The Chinese had
another culture, a new thing, so eventually you find a
thing called a 'Chinee Shap', and everywhere in
Jamaica you went you found a Chinee Shap, and a
Chinee Man running it. And there was no other kind
of shop. Nubaddy else know how fi run dat ting like
I think also that he survived because of the system
of mutual family and community assistance which he
brought as an ingrained part of Chinese culture; the
masters did not pressure him to abandon his culture.
And since he frequently came as a male citizen, soon
you began to have the half-Chinese children,
although the Chinese attitude to their half-caste
children came from a different base [once the father
was Chinese the child was Chinese], which is a
simplification of another involved intermixture ....
Now merchandising was not part of the culture of
But the West African women are traders -
perhaps we would call them higglers ...
Mmmm Hmmm yu mean farmers what go to
There was a tendency in some West African
societies for the women to be the traders and
control the money.
Side 3 of Tape
CH: Out of all this we develop Creole a plural
range of Creoles, all of them having an African base.
And the reason why I stress this, is that by this time
I am now talking about a quantity, a majority
against a minority ... understand? At this time of the
development there is a majority of African
quadrupled or whatever ... so because of that I use
the majority for the base, so naturally in a situation
like this it is the majority which is going to be the
SMB: What about "the Court' Officialdom was
not in fact the influence?
I have dismissed officialdom completely from this.
What officialdom had done was to confuse the issue
by being immovable in its ideology. Up front it was
the Court. The Court was the law; the law was a
minority yet it controlled the majority. But,
eventually the culture of the mixture became the
influence and this culture had an African base.
You see it was not necessary for officialdom to
change, because, the people who were in officialdom
were qualified by the standards of officialdom to
operate within officialdom. That vast majority of
people who were still oral, who neva goh a school...
Or if dem goh a school dem neva pass t'ird book.
When school was established, when di missionary
dem come, yu know wheh a mean .... soh figet dat
part deh .... What I have given is my qualification for
the African base.
Now over time we leap again, and we find that
communication becomes easier because of the
mechanical age, and people begin to travel between
And also the mechanical age tended to coincide
with Emancipation, so the closed societies of the
different estates began to break down?
Mmmm Hmmm, I am glad you remembered,
because there were indeed closed societies. I have not
even brought in the Maroons into this.
They were running along with the development in
continued isolation, and retaining their traditional
Because their influence on the phonetics would be
generated not through speech, but through drum,
and horn ... gumbay and abeng ... that was their
communication, and the Maroon society was a closed
society, and remained a closed society, so I have not
brought them into it, but they are an important
point of reference.
Two things happen at the same time, the
industrial era, and Emancipation; so the result of the
accident of the circumstances was that people began
to move and communicate and intermingle. People
from dung yah soh go a live up sohand so on,and so
forth yu know ... except for the Germans that decide
to stay deh. But what happened to them as the result
of that they are another particular case, and by the
time some of them got down to start to intermingle,
a very strong input from the African and the
European and the Chinese was needed ... this was
German Town ... 'y'annastan'? So we leave them
there as a point of reference just, as we leave the
Maroons there as a point of reference.
As the bodies of people started to intermingle, so
the language started to intermingle a little bit more.
So I can envisage a scene where somebody from
Portland shall we say, go to Westmoreland, and form
a family, and when some years hence the
descendants of the Portlanders visit home to them
ancestors, the native Portlanders say 'what a way di
pickney dem talk funny!' Dat is a natural ting.
So now I think we have established the point that
the mingling caused more of a mixture of language,
which brings us now by jumping again to just
before the electronic era, to what was accepted
immediately pre-electronics, as being standard
Jamaican. Right. So yu talking' bout Miss Lou, and
Miss Lou is pre-electronic because even today Miss
Lou is still influenced by the infant Miss Lou.
This chronology is very important as we come to
what we could call 'the New Phonology'.
Yes. When Miss Lou got her first exposure in print
media, then scribal people started to accept her as
the standard Jamaican, because we in Kingston felt
that everybody in Jamaica could read an annastan'
But a noh soh it did goh? .....
Naa! ... how could it when the majority of
people were oral? ... So we start to hear rumblings
about Standard Jamaican because you know all of
the tings come outa Kingston even when di capital
diddeh a Spanish Town, Kingston still did a have
more people dan anywhere else. Now the strange
thing about it is that the country did not really come
... they came to the market ...
... dem come and dem did go wey ... dem come and
dem bring dem language. And when the purchasers
of their wares heard the country words, den it lef a
Kingston. Den dem leave dem language a Kingston
and gawn back. Kingston people start to use it IN
FUN ... Now this is where we get the IDEA, that our
IS FOR COMEDY ONLY!
Tenk yu! Tenk yu! RIGHT. Hol dat deh wan an
mek i tan deh a while ......
But the urbanite's mocking of the countryman is a
universal practice ...
Tenk yu! Tenk yu! It don't happen only in
Jamaica, "country bumpkin" But this mockery
took us away ... it carried us wide of where we are
trying to get to today. Now if that accident didn't
happen we would be nearer to where we are trying to
get today. Dat was a accident it happen. So now
you find in Kingston a lot of the country talk taking
place, by way of fun even among the poor
So they are then speaking their own language to
Below: Charlie with a "pinta", celebrating his first record
album in the U.K. in the 1960's. Burke Photographic
The funny thing is that they were not talking
own language as they saw it. They were talkil
country language; because you must rememb
type of influence that was being brought to bea
Kingston -wheh di'Ouse of Lards diddeh heh
What did ave tram car an di street dem ligl
As the Dame in 1950's Pantomime Jamaica Way, with Carmen Manley. Photo by Ash.
their Exactly. It had light ... Gas Lamp Pony pass rung
g the every evening. Now Gas Lamp Pony is a term you
er the will never hear in the country, because dere was no
r... in gas lamp ...
Country never have light till when electric light
t ..... come.
Because the power supply of gas could not go to
the country. It was only dung which part Seprod deh
now, dung a battam deh, was Gas Company. An' di
gas line dem goh anda di street y'annastan. As far
up as certain places, and it could not go any further.
In dem days Sint Andrew start a Nart Street, an'
Crass Road did eena bush.
And the gas probably could not go as far as North
Street. Keeping a permanent flow of gas under the
road... and the gas lamp pony come an tek him hook
an pull di switch and di mantle dem light from the
pilot light dem. So the term gas lamp pony you hear
in Kingston. If you go to country and make dem
statement dem seh "a warra!" So you see what is
taking place now.
Where the language is concerned ... certain things
start to influence the Kingston language, and as a
result as well, the other side of the coin, the Kingston
language start to influence them, as I say,
immediately pre-electronics time. Then came
electronics time ... in its earliest stages of bringing
voices from afar.
Before that what we did have was the
gramaphone, the Victrola, the music box type of
thing came in early, but then that never spake ... you
know, it only made sound ping pong ping. The
gramaphone started to speak, but then again, even
so, dem didn ave noh whole pile a gramaphone a
country. It was not open to everybody, the early
cylinder one which distorted sound, never came here;
by time wi get it reach wi, it played discs, and as I
said it spake. But it was not for the mass, and I am
dealing with the African base, which is the mass.
Stick a pin Charlie! The accent that would have
had the greatest influence on the African mass, was
the turn of the century equivalent of 'the parsonical
bray' the pious, prayerful,, preaching tones of the
Reasonable. It was, in fact, this which influenced
the love of reading from the Bible.
The quoting from, and the 'biblical tone'
Even up to today there is still a scriptural
attitude. If you are reading the Bible, even though
you have new version and all dem sart a tings if
you are reading the Bible you have a tone and it is
different. Once you start read the Bible you have a
totally different tone.
There is a variation of this which I call the
Haxford Hoccent associated with the local
equivalent of what Fowler calls "genteelisms". But
it is still true that if you take a vox pop kind of radio
or television interview to the country, the
countryman stands up and delivers himself and
explains what he means; there is a tendency in the
city to reply to questions with monosyllables
"sight", "seen", "right", or sometimes trisyllable
"yu noh see't". When you get "a serious ting dat",
one has reached the point of loquaciousness. You
know the view that bad English is bad Creole, and
that if we speak careless English we will lose the
That is a whole new subject. What I thought you
were going to say, is that a person being interviewed
in the country, and 1 am talking a normal thing,
when dem decide to quote from the Bible it is a new
ting completely, that attitude was imposed upon
them by the missionaries.
Because you cannot speak in everyday tones ...
... About the things in the Bible. Because those
people were very rigid, even the Lutherans,
Moravians, Baptists etc., what did split off from
other churches what did too strict, even the most
liberal, still dealt with the Bible in a different tone of
speech. And when you think that it was from the
Bible in a lot of cases where the masses were taught
English, then you realise the extent of the influence.
And the missionaries taught their own stresses
and mannerisms of speech. It is said to this day that
the only other place in the world where hymns are
sung and dragged in the same way as in Jamaica is
That is perfectly true. So what I am trying to
identify, is the difference in influences and
circumstances that have had an effect on what has
happened, and we must identify dem things in order
to find whe di roots deh. Mind you we know where
the roots are.
And this is the base for understanding what is
Precisely. Now because of the mass it must be
easier to imitate the mass than the minority.
Agreed. The American Southern accent is in
reality a Black accent. The "eeh-hee" and "ih ih" for
yes and no, which we find Jamaican Creole,
translates into "Mmm Hmmm" and "Uh Huh",
expressions which range over most of the U.S.A.
Whatever ... it must have been easier to imitate
Although it was mimicked in fun?
But in a regional way in Jamaica you would
probably find that it would happen region to region
one would not necessarily come to Kingston, but
if yu leave Linstead an yu goh a Ewarton yu fine it
likkledifferent deh, so it became the norm to lampoon
it. So at that time there was really no problem among
the mass to determine who they were. No problem at
Now we get to a stage where electronics come into
Can we divide the periods into the early electronic,
and the transistor eras ...
The early electronic era did not influence the mass,
it only entertained the mass, in as far as they had
access to it.
Of course there had been the old lantern slides, but
by the thirties, films with sound were being shown
not only in the city and small town theatres but also
in the rural areas by Jamaica Welfare.
It come now and when it come back nex mont?
den wheh happen eena di tutty day in between? People
a goh aan wid dem life everyday, dat is a fantasy: di
people dem goh and dem look back a di screen an
dem noh sih nobody a shadow dat. They know a
reality of hunger, heat, cold, thirst.
Now we come to another influence, that was
persistent poverty, in the country it was a different
The thing about poverty in the country here ....
poverty to dem people was not poverty as we know it
today; they had a way of life, dem goh to dem fiel
an dem plant, an dem eat wheh dem plant, and dem
kill wheh dem eat. So you had a routine of what was
eaten Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, everyday. An
there was enough for everyone to eat. Di poverty
ting come een when you haffi buy shoes fi go a
church. People used to go a school barefoot, you used
to go everywhere barefoot. You wear yu one pair o
shoes go a church, you wear it eena di church.
Yu walk barefoot go a church and yu put aan di
shoe eena di church yard an yu tek it aff eena di
An dem neva did have noh problem wid di shoe
dem, if it did tight dem jus tek a razor blade or a
knife and cut di toe part deh wheh tight. If it too
tight, which it mus be because di man wheh a sell it,
only waa know seh yu foot cyan goh down eena di
shoe. Once yu foot get een deh, di fact that it cyaa
lace up or whatever, didn't matter yu av aan shoes.
Dat nat a prablem....dem custom to chigga, an if it
eena dem toe (as far as they were concerned) dem
only haffi tek wan macka juk i queeze i out....si what
a mean? Is later aan when yu start tell dem bout
medicine and dem tings dat dem start fi fret bout
When I say that they accepted poverty it was not
that they accepted that "im is di busha an me is di
labourer". It was that poverty was a way of life that
had existed from whenever, caus'n seh, noh slave
neba een come yah wid noh packet money
....y'annastan? So that was a way of life that always
What you are saying is that the early electronic
age had little or no effect upon the speech of the
masses. Perhaps when we get to the transistor
revolution is when the real change comes.
Once again, just like the accident that
emancipation and the industrial era began at the
same time, and just like the accident that the early
electronic coincided with an intellectual and labour
revolution in the thirties, the transistor coincided
with Independence, a change in attitudes brought
along by Independence.
But didn't it help to teach the masses Standard
No it never did. It never did yu falling into di trap -
wi doan reach deh yet doan fall into dat trap!
You go on ...
The Standard Speech: we go back to the infant
Miss Lou. What was considered the Standard
Speech was not what the mass was speaking but
the mass considered that standard speech, because
the mass did not have to write it, the mass only
spoke it, the mass was oral. When Standard start to
come in is when yu haffi decide to write.
And even those of the mass who were functionally
literate, who had been to school, still did not write
Exactly. The Standard English is what was
coming from "up heah" to "down theah", the
Standard English came out of the Mulatto. If you
use the word Creole now, we are not talking about
language, we are talking about race. It came out of
the Creole who had an inability to speak what the
mass was speaking.
Or if he had the ability it was sublimated.
But wait! Ah no finish. ... The inability to speak
what the mass was speaking, and the facility to
speak what the other side was speaking.
Here I take issue with you Charlie, because the
Mulatto, even the 'high brown' was always nursed
by a Nana, and there were always times when the
child was exposed to deep Creole.
The nursemaid could not and was never expected
to speak Standard English.
She spoke what has been referred to as "house
Creole"; but when the child was left alone with the
... Yes but the child still is influenced by the above
And the despising of his black blood ...?
Yes but remember that the Mulatto now is the one
that is exposed to privilege, and schooling is a
And he has been exposed to an imitation of a
British Public School.
Right "Dan-is-the-Man-in-the-Van. I-am-in-go-on"
Heh heh.... mi neba know seh yu did a haffi learn
dem ting to! And these things were spoken in
schools, because it was always done chorally, the
whole chorus, spake.
Wordsworth, or Tennyson, or Shelley
Or Keats or wan a dem deh...Heh heh heh... so
you have, and one thing you must not get away from
is how the Mulatto functioned, because the Mulatto
being of a 'higher colour' than the Black was more
privileged, because the Bass Man was more able to
accept him as being nearer to being a 'being' ...
better than he was able to accept the Black.
And of course the class was used as a buffer
between Black and White, and of course the fairer
the Mulatto, the nearer he was to being a 'being...'
You see the misfortune of Gordon was that he was
so fair, effn im did black perhaps im noh would eng.
Because he would not have had the privilege .......
... to have belonged to the class which he was
considered to have betrayed!
Let us take a leap back into slavery time: the
phenomenon about education is that education
teaches you to learn. The guy who you taught to
count in order for him to be able to write down how
much head of this and bushel of that, him learn to
count up to any number ... him learn now that you
can go beyond twenty ... beyond a hundred. So that
is another aspect of things, that when the silly
monocultural boss imposed some of his culture upon
the multicultured slave, it led that multicultured
slave to learn a little bit more teach him to read,
him start read books, or whatever, soh im was able fi
run goh tell di group dem dat meeting deh a Great
House, because it write up pan di wall. Di fact dat di
meeting was between the owners to deal with the
slaves, no matter, im go tell dem, and dem come and
dem deh wan side a lissen..... so education start to
bring forth education. Mmmmm .? that is one thing
that is cancerous.
Cancerous in the sense that a little learning is a
That concept my love, is something that was used
to prevent you from learning. Yu yerry wheh mi a tell
yu. The fact that you see a word like when you hear
two English people saying 'we had a fight last night'
... Now yu expek fi si di two a dem bruise up, or
not a talk to wan anader. But when they say they
had a fight last night, they had a disagreement. They
had an argument. So a little of the learning of the
English naa infarm yu about wheh really a tek place
... Y'annastan.'? There are so many well laid pitfalls.
It is not accident that they are there. They are
deliberately put there to prevent education; but with
athletic prowess yu jump ova dem. You learn.
When yu lan ova di adda side yu seh 'Wait, but yu
cyan get ova dis ting. An you start finding a way fi
jump in it an climb out instead a haffi jump ova.
... A man, a man yu dealing wid. If I see on Old Hope
Road, a cow, go to the pipe and turn it on, and drink
water, den ow yu expek fi tell mi a man sinting,
and me no learn more. That is another aspect of it.
Now you are coming up to where attitudes started
A point in time 1938.
The Labour movement, that was when attitudes
started to change. When yu tell a man seh: 'Yu
mus get more money fi di wuk yu a do. Ef yu 'tap
wuk, im pyuk.'
"Naa- a trut' dat."
This is the beginning of real emancipation.
Right. Mi naa wuk fi dat, before dat a drap dung
dead. You know what, effn im did a gwaan wuk fi di
fippance im would live yu know but, im would
raada dead! Di ting bus yu know! And it was
this, the Labour movement, the riots before 1938,
because remember di Wesmorlan' ting and dem tings
deh ... that started to change the attitude, which
eventually brought us into Independence.
But it coincided with the emergence of the
intellectuals who were working for the philosophical
concepts of Independence.
Check it. Check it. So we get up to 1938, attitudes
begin to change, and we come up with that gusto,
that emotion, straight up to Independence ... it could
not change ...
An aggressiveness a resurgence of an inborn, an
intrinsic ethnic trait?
Thank you, thank you very much. An' it reach. It
reach Independence. And that is where the other
problem start ...
Now at Independence because of the education
that the people had undergone coming up to
Independence, when I say political I don't mean
partisan political education, I mean political in the
wider sense. By the time we got to Independence,
there was now openly the attitude of resentment,
which had existed all along. It now was able to
manifest itself legitimately allright, and there are
some instances of how the people reacted to being
independent. To the chagrin of some other people
who identified ... by which time now you had a case
where you had 'black skin and mulatto-mind' so
when you use mulatto, it don't necessarily mean that
a mulatto looking person will stand in front of you.
You talking about the 'brown' mind. On the other
side of the coin eventually you will find mulatto skin
and black mind.
Yes, but what we are considering now is the mind
that has become colonised and become mulatto.
Because invariably the mind belonging to that
'mulatto' is of an educational experience of Oxford,
and probably not even that far. But well Senior
Cambridge, Civil Servant.
The so-called "Great Tradition"?
But then that is still a minority, it still has nothing
to do with the mass. It is the mass we are dealing
with right! And there are several instances of how
the concept of Independence displayed itself.
One thing which struck me forcefully I
remember in 1964 going (and this is only two years
after Independence) to an hotel on the North Coast.
And that is another item that we should take time
We have to do a whole interview on the tourist
industry, that one alone. That one we want to talk
about in depth.
'Allright. Well I asked for a beer. My experience
previous to that, was that when I asked for a beer I
was asked a question, 'what kind' because then you
could get all kinda beer ya. And I went into the hotel
and asked for a beer, and the man just opened up a
cold Red Stripe and gi' mi. And I thought 'Heh heh,
is me, mek a wait and see'. Mi siddung an den wan
nadda man come, a touris' man, an' ask fi a beer
same way; an' 'im open up a Red Stripe gi' 'im. It
was to me one of the manifestations in order for
the man not to drink a Jamaican beer, going have to
say, "not that one, another one".
And a lot of that attitude comes out of a certain
arrogance which to me was a very healthy thing.
And it also pointed the finger to what was going to
happen in time, which is happening now, and which a
lot of people find hard to cope with, to deal with, to
accept. But it is a necessary progression; people
might not understand it as being progress, but it is a
progression. I can draw an analogy. If yu han' bruk,
and yu deh a bush and yu not able to seek medical
aid, it starts to heal. When you come into a 'civilised
area' shall we say, and you go to a doctor to heal it
good, firs' ting wheh him do him bruk it again!
Right. So the violence of breaking the hand, the fact
that you did not fall down and break it as in the first
instance: this time the man de going bruk it fi yu -
in order to set it properly. So drastic situations need
And well so come Independence, everybody is
independent, not only Kingston, but the rurals also.
And you will notice when Independence was coming
about after the foul-up of the Federation that was
when King Street began to change.
So anyway the point is that people began to move,
the mass began to assert themselves more, and this
represented in the eyes of many people, the loss of a
That was considered culture. But the self-assertion
was not out of disrespect, and still is not out of
disrespect, what it is trying to do is to get rid of all
the colonial trappings. All that could be identified, as
colonial trappings. Now this was something as I saw
it, that had to happen, they had to do it, and the time
is going to come in the future when whatever is going
to be accepted, whether it is going to be "Ouy" as
'please' or wheh yu a se' as 'Good morning' or
"howdedo," it will be the norm. Or 'Please' may be
brought back but it will be brought back by the
people themselves. It will not be considered an
imposition from an outside source. Right.
Now these attitudes express themselves vocally,
and in order to find something of your own, which we
are still trying, you have to "try a ting", I will
express it in those terms. The fact that you needn't
'try a ting' because it has been tried, and the rules
governing it have been set down before; is
deliberately ignored. So that when you try a ting and
try a ting, and get a series of evolution ... and it come
right back to the original thing, you tek credit for it
becaas is you fine it.
The difference between discovering and inventing.
Everybody wheh claim wheh dem did invent,
didda really discover, becaas di sinting diddeh fi dem
fin' out long time. We have to be able to understand,
to be able to evaluate the expression of the attitudes
which come out in words; and this brings us to an
Idiom is not something that has been in existence
for a long time. What used to be called "idiomatic",
is when we go back to the market person come to
town and leave a language, and the Kingston person
pick it up. That was considered to be idiom (yu dig?)
because it had existed "theah" it just get
transported to "heah". Now dis is a different kettle
of fish, we are coming to discover that in what is now
the idiomatic era, a lot of what we consider idiom was
in fact transported here long ago, and lay dormant in
various areas and now start to get unearthed like
the reference to "irie" which may have been down
there dormant for centuries, and now come back up
to the surface. Some of the words which we believe to
be a coinage of Rastafarians and the "Yout' man"
generation, were here already in the original mass
language. Now the Rastafarians, because of their
ideology, because of what is their aspiration, we get
to a stage in life when the Motherland now refers to a
horse of a different colour.
Ethiopia, My Mother!
An' Ethiopia don't mean what is now called
Ethiopia, but the whole of Africa which was once
Ethiopia. So that expressions you hear and you
wonder where dem really come from, dem diddeh yah
soh lang time; and dem come out now, and dem
change-change so often because of the search that is
going on, until it will be found. But then we talking
'bout tomorrow, and what we want to look into is
yesterday, in order to understand why today is like
this in terms of speech. And as a result of that what
will be tomorrow.
Now if we check a lot of what used to be called our
Ah that is the word, except that that "vernacular"
sound give you the impression of bad words, you
know. If you call it dialect, it was more acceptable.
Well there is a French word coming from well you
know.... So in our dialect you will find a lot of words
that are either derivations, or in their original form of
an African language. Now how these came to be
derived, could be because of the inability of the mix
to pronounce properly; the mix who would turn
round and teach. Or it dies out or becomes dormant
in its original form. That could be some of the ways.
And we retain certain things in their original form,
probably because of the comfort, listen to the
comfort: In the English language for instance, there
is "you" singular and "you" plural; that is a
constant form of confusion. "A oo yu a talk". "A nu
yu yu!" What we have in our language, the
language of the mass, is a singular "you", whether it
is "yu" or "you", or however it is used; it is "you"
and that is singular, and 'Unu' is you plural. There
is no mistaking that it is more comfortable. Now
Unu must be from the original. What is our job, in
relation to words like those, is to find out if "'Unu"'
is an African word, that means quantity.
The Second person plural. I think it must be,
simply because in other islands many hundreds of
miles away, and separate; it is used in the same
sense, but frequently appears as "Wunu" .
We must search our dialect for words, words which
we all were corrected for using. And this is
something I should have mentioned when you spoke
about the mulatto child being able to speak like the
black Nanny because of its association. But although
the child might have been able to do it, everytime he
attempted, he was corrected by the parent.
Or by the Nanny. 'No sey Yah, Yah M love' ..........
Heh heh .... Yes because the parent is the person
paying the Nanny, and if the Nanny is accused of
corrupting the child she is going to lose the work. So
her job is to see to it that the child does not speak
like her. So the child, because of the usage indoors
and at school, the type of school to which it is likely
to go, stops speaking that language out there; he can
understand it, but he can't talk it. He really cannot
anymore. I nearly fainted when a well known
theatrical director in Jamaica insisted "I cannot
Well he might be an extreme case, it was read out
of his ability.
An extreme case perhaps, it was bred out of his
ability, but that will help you to understand.
You are probably right about that Charlie; all of
us who are "educated" and can speak Creole, are
either naturally imitative and/or have a background
in comedy performance or were raised on an
Okay; so we find that when we speak of the
regional thing that used to happen because of lack of
transportation, that does not exist anymore,
Kingston is now peopled with so-so country people.
Everywhere you go. Is not Kingston breed itself into
this size. No one or two or three maternity hospitals
could have serviced that increase, it must have been
a migration. When you say, 'whe yu fram? ...
... then you come to the question of my parish, and
my fellow parishioners. That parishioner thing is
extremely close, sometimes one almost wonders if it
isn't a substitute for the tribe. A person in any given
situation in Kingston, all things being equal, will
tend to give preference to someone from his own
parish ... but Jamaica has been a great place for
breaking down tribalism of all continents.
Europeans who don't mix in their native lands
because of nation or class, mix freely here. Hindus
and Muslims celebrate the same ceremonies and
Sephardic and Ashkenasic Jews worshipped in the
Reasonable. But to come back to the Kingston
language. Kingston is now peopled with so-so
country people, it is a migrant society and they have
brought their language once again, just like how
their ancestors never left the African language
behind; and in Kingston now the language has
changed very much, and there is very little difference
between the Kingston language and the country
Creole language in serious drama. Charlie as "Pa Ben" with Cyrene Tomlinson, Calvin Foster, and Barbara Harriott, in Trevor Rhone's Old Story Time 1979-80,
the longest running drama in Jamaican theatre. This has played to comprehending audiences of many races and nationalities in Jamaica and on tour including
Miami and the U.S.Virgin Islands.
Photo Monica DeSouza
With the levelling accelerated by the electronic
media and the transistor radio in particular?
Right. Except well, there are the people who play
great parts in this, through the electronic media,
especially Miss Lou and Mas Ran and them,
personalities who have spread the word, literally.
They were effective in spreading the word, as
pioneers in fact, but they could only do it in the form
of comedy. It is only recently that Creole is being
used in serious drama.
Right, right we established that. In order for
people like Miss Lou to get their just due, what
needs to happen is to research into the lingo, to find
out the roots, to make a grammar, so that it can
eventually be effectively adapted and used as the
And as the original language; the grammatical
rules are not so difficult, it is the orthography which
is critical; you know how many problems will arise in
transcribing this for print! I go further, someone has
suggested to me that it should be written into the
constitution, that a man should not be made
uncomfortable, say in a Court of Law, for speaking
what is in fact his own language.
I could not agree with that more. There is a real
dilemma. It is granted that English is the
international language. ...
... and therefore necessary, because the global
village communicates that way.
That's good, that's fine, be that as it may. You
hear the Israeli can speak English in his own
faltering way, you hear the Pakistani can speak
English, but speak it with an accent, because in their
homes they don't speak it.
When yu deh a Rome, yu haffi taak Roman. We
have the ability to speak it. Now what we need in
order to make ourselves really independent, is to be
able to identify our language. To write it to each
other, to have it written in books, have it taught in
schools, and to have a right and a wrong way of
And to teach English as a second language with.
this as the base.
Which it is, because if you have two and one half
million people in a society and ninety nine per cent of
the people in that society are Black and speak Black
- how the hell can English be the first language?
It may be the official language, but it is not the
The language that we speak naturally is the first
language. In order to be able to accept that we must
be able to write it, because we are now moving into a
scribal era. You see this is the difficulty that
establishments like Jamal had, which might have
been obviated if we had taken the attitude: "You are
not illiterate in the oral tradition, you are illiterate in
the received tongue".
You are oral/aural, you are not scribal?
Precisely, but because in international com-
munications as it is today, and because Jamaica is a
nation in the international arena, a nation in the
world to be reckoned with, and probably has the
potential to be another Greece or Athens. ...
Perhaps the analogy of Crete might be more
geographically fitting? Historically Crete certainly
exercised a cultural influence far out of proportion to
If you were to attract people to learn to read and
write with the reasoning that, because we are in
international commerce and all that jazz, we need to
be scribal then everybody would a run go a Jamal.
Those what going to learn and those what going to
show off seh dat dem know it already. But the bad
word you know, "illiterate", nobody want to be,
identified as such. Especially when dem feel seh dat
even ef dem neva buck up pan wan nada soul from
dem barn ...
... dem would een taak same way?
Dem would een taak same way; because it comes
straight out of a genetic awareness. Dem probably
not able to articulate that, but then dem don't need
to. So now what we are to do is to research our
language, a lot of research has to be put into it.
Wheh dis yah wud come fram? An wheh dat de wud
Whah mek wi seh 'tarrada' and ting? Decide that
"wheh" is not necessarily an African word, but it is
the inability to say "where" through the imbalance
that took place with my bastardisation, wheh you
My engrafting caused that. This side of the mango
tree is Number Eleven mango, and that side is Black
mango, but the Number taste a little Blackish, and
the Black taste a little Numberish. ... Now when we
have decided that, then we will be able to accept our
Mightn't this engrafting make Creole into a form
of Low English [which many people feel that it is],
perhaps in the same way that English is a form of
Low German .... seriously though, with some
command of Spanish, I have much more access to
Italian, than the Standard English speaker has to
Creole; for one thing there is the constancy of the
Roman root and systems and the 'regional' aural
acrobatics. In the case of Creole however we are
engrafting vastly differing linguistic systems; and
vastly differing inflexion and tonalities.
You are right of course, we should make a search
of the dialect, and pay more attention to such words
as "seh" and "dutty" which we assume to be
corruptions of English "say" and "dirt", but which
are in fact African.
Not only will we be able to accept our language
with its African and other roots but we will be able to
accept di whole a wi, whether we be Indian,
Syrian, European, or whatever; provided that
person says "Mi a Jamaican. Jamaica a fi mi
Just like how France treats Mauritius you
can speak French? Then you are French. So the
Mauritian dem, dem a try dem best fi talk di mos
fluent French, their ambition is to go to Paris. Dem
naa try fi develop dem Creole.
That'll be the day! When non-whites are
considered English because they speak fluent
The Frenchman takes immense pride in his
language, and you will notice that the French
overseas promotions take the form of the Alliance
Francaise, which is devoted to the spread of the
French language. This of course may result partly
from the fact of the demotion of French from the
lingua franca of the world.
But the British and the French are the only two
races in my experience who use their language as a
weapon. No decent-minded Englishman would jostle
a handicapped person in the queue; yet intellectually
many take an almost sadistic delight in baiting the
bi-lingual with a superficially polite, form of
unpleasantness. If you really want to throw him
off-balance answer him the same way! Secure in
his sense of superiority, he is unable to realise it is he
who is intellectually and culturally the poorer,
because he is mono-lingual and mono-cultural.
Post-war the Americans might have been the worst
offenders but they are beginning to open their
sights. It is freely accepted that areas in the
U.S.A. are Hispanic, and the non-Hispanics assume
a degree of bi-lingualism.
You see what, has happened with Haiti. People say
you know Haiti, things bad, but the funny thing
about the bad things in Haiti and there is poverty,
but it is the people.
They are so proud, and so handsome ...
Dem is proud even in pauperism.
That is why they are so strikingly good looking. I
remember seeing two Haitian youngsters board a
plane from Port-au-Prince to San Juan, dirt poor of
course; they walked as if they had owned aeroplanes
all their lives, and did not think too much of this one,
and they handled the American customs official in
San Juan, as though he was a shoe shine boy. But of
course their ancestors defeated the armies of
Napoleon and they don't forget. Don't you notice
that Jamaican children are getting better looking -
they have a history; it is pride, dem noh look dung
pan dem foot noh more when dem a talk. Yu know?
I don't know what will evolve. I would not pretend
to know what will evolve, because it will come from
the people. And my saying what will happen now,
will be conditioned by what I would like. I have to
divorce myself totally from it ...
You think you can see it objectively?
I try to, although once again I can be directed
genetically, but then I cannot be directed in the
future in the same way that, I have to be directed by
And an awareness of the Present ...
Right you see, whatever it is that comes. This -
all of what we have been saying so far, leads us to the
consideration of Rastafarianism. I not talking 'bout
Dreadism you know, I am talking about
Rastafarianism and the success of Rastafarianism.
I would like to talk not so much about
Rastafarianism itself, as the extent of its influence,
even upon the people who do not subscribe to or are
actually averse to its tenets.
Well now you see the thing about it is, that there
are more Rastafarians in Jamaica than anybody
would care to realise. Because Rasta is another word
for a religion, when you boil it down, that has come
from a certain area. Because of the pressure of the
confusions, the deliberate confusion, Rasta comes
into its own, because it is the only one with which
you can truly identify. Don't bother say you have a
Black Bishop of Jamaica and all dem things, because
when him to meet the Head of fe him Church which is
the Church of England, him have to deal with a white
Archbishop or a white Pope. Yu noh haffi goh deh
far deh; long before you reach Rome, the guy
immediately above, or his equal him haffi deal
with the White. Now in terms of Rasta, the further
up you go, is the same thing you going see. So here is
something; plus it is not saying anything different to
what any of the other religions are saying. It is
speaking to the idea of God is love the one
premise, do good to you neighbour and love God. All
religions, every single solitary one is based upon that
- which makes one wonder where they originally
Rasta is the only faith which is not based in any
way in any culture which pre-disposes one to hate or
despise or pity, the Black within ourselves, and while
there is a minority imbalance of those who hate the
white within themselves, "Peace and Love" will deal
with that. Therefore it may be that only Rasta has
the potential to break once and for all, the crab-barrel
mentality to which we have been conditioned in order
So the sooner the better that we in Jamaica realise
that in order to find out where to go we have to go to
the mass, and learn from the mass, and stop telling
the mass to follow us, in terms of many other things
the quicker one will get co-operation which is
something else again. ... But in terms of our
language we have to go into the mass, we have to
trace and research however uncomfortable it may be;
because it is not an easy exercise to dismiss, to
unlearn what one has spent so much time and energy
and emotion to learn; to just throw it away. But only
that exercise will teach us to go now and to study.
See Jamaica Journal 0 42 pp. 44-63.
A Relic of Archaic Jamaican Speech
By Barbara Lalla
Dr. Barbara Lalla was born in Jamaica and obtained B.A. Honours in
English and Ph.D. in English at the University of the West Indies,
Mona. She is presently lecturing in Language and Linguistics at the
St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad.
Jamaican Creole is essentially an oral medium
and, mainly for this reason, much of its history is
obscure. Almost all of the written records which
exist preserve the language reinterpreted in terms of
English structures native to the writer. And
although some strike us despite this as being
amazingly accurate, we must acknowledge in most
cases, at least to a limited extent, that interference
from the prestige tongue has been unavoidable.
There is a strong oral tradition of folklore, song and
story, but with the passage of time most tales have
been modified in linguistic form even where content
has remained unchanged. Verse, on the other hand,
is a natural vehicle for conserving past expression
within limits set by rhyme and metre, and so songs
which can actually be traced back to a specific
historical context are particularly valuable. But
these are relatively rare. Many a song preserves
snatches of the past in the way most characteristic of
oral traditions, that is by fragmentary anecdotes
about some memorable event, fleeting references to
persons or objectswhose significance has long been
lost even from the collective memory of the folk. All
we catch of this are echoes mainly little left to us
but a tantalising tail end, and even that trailing
away in the distance. "Quaco Sam", an old slave
song, is unusual in that it is relatively long,
well-preserved, varied in subject and therefore m
language, and clearly associated with a specific
historical and cultural context; it can be dated. It
therefore offers a unique opportunity for listening in
on the past, for hearing the features we now
recognize as occasional archaisms in modern
Jamaican Creole in their original contexts, and
encountering some now obsolete. What follows is a
suggested reconstruction of the original song on the
basis of major, variant texts which are extant and by
comparison with records of Jamaican Creole of the
Text A is published here, and the others are referred
to as B,C,D+E.
Today the song itself is not widely known and
even as early as 1935 in Trelawny, the region in
which it probably originated, recollection of its
earliest form was already dim enough for there to be
serious discrepancies in transmission. A text (A)
obtained in Trelawny was communicated to H.P.
Jacobs, a historian and folklorist whose extensive
m m r77 -ii mr I
i t -o I I I I I tmI I I I I I I I f i
i f- ! .! I !f r r r1
LI 1 LW -
Negro Figurante Bridgens, National Library of Jamaica
I. Howdy, Cousin Cubba, mi yerry lilly news,
Mi yerry-seh yu buy one new pair a shoes,
Mi yerry-seh yu buy one dandy hat.
Come tell mi, Cousin Cubba, wha yu pay fi dat?
Chorus Wid a ring ding ding an a pam pam pam,
Mi nebba see a man lak-a Quaco Sam.
Wedda rain or-a breeze or-a storm or-a sun,
Mi nebba si a man lak-a Quaco Sam.
II. Mi yerry-seh one dance deh a Berry Hill,
Unco Jack play di fiddly-an wan bag fi kill,
Come tell mi, Cousin Cubba, how ebry ting tan,
Mek mi ax Sista Susan, mek mi call Sista Ann.
III. Mi hab mi Regan gown, mi hab mi gin'am cloak,
Swalla-henkychi tie mi head, massa-tenky tie mi troat.
Da warm mo mi wanty? Mi hab mi junka pan
Fi goh a Berry Hill fi goh-see Quaco Sam.
IV. Laadl How mi wi dance when mi yerry fiddly-an druml
Mi no tink pon backra wo'k, mi no ca' fe fum-fum
Mi wi dance di shay-shay, mi wi dance di Catchreel,
Mi wi dance till ebry craps a mi foot-battam peel.
V. Monday mawning Driba Harry, when di cock da crow,
Tek him cudjo a him ban, knock 'im whip a Busha do.
Wi mi hoe a mi should, wi mi bill da mi back,
Mi da mash putta-putta, mi da tink pan Unca Jack.
VI. Mi tek mi row a cane-piece side; di naygar-dem all da run
An ebryone come behind mi, him ketch di fum-fum.
Wi mi hoe da mi should, chackalata da mi pan,
Mi da wo'k, mi da nyam, mi da tink pan Quaco Sam.
private collection of songs, tales and other records of
the Jamaican cultural past later came to include
other variant texts of "Quaco Sam". The original
informants for the A-text had been elderly yet even
their rendition was imperfect. What was recorded as
a final stanza later turned out to be a chorus,
changing our understanding of the whole structure
of the song and the differentiation of one verse from
Yet later evidence was to raise further questions
about the words of the chorus. Do the lines recalled
by Olive Lewin preserve an original sense of the
Negro's endurance under exposure to all types of
weather "whether rain or-a breeze ....", and is
the jingle recorded by other texts a worn down,
meaningless survival of this "wid a ring ding ding
...."? Or does the jingle reflect accompaniment and
represent a legitimate part of the chorus? Probably
the original contained both elements. After all, the
tune which lives on, as re-collected by Ms. Lewin, is
longer than both versions of the chorus which have
survived from other sources. The tune itself was
identified as that of "The White Cockade" by Mr.
James T.H. Chandler, a clergyman who published a
printed version (text B) in the Welfare Reporter
(January, 1947) and assessed the song as being
"much over a hundred vears old".
And there have been other references and
fragments of varying usefulness. H.P. Jacobs
recollects a printed text (C) from the Daily Gleaner
(reference lost) which was later than Chandler's and
had serious misprints. A shorter reference of only a
few lines occurs in Richard Hughes' well known
novel, A High Wind in Jamaica1 and this extract
(text D) is essential to our reconstruction of the last
couplet of verse IV. Finally, on 15 July, 1966, an
article appeared in the Daily Gleaner by Ray
Fremmer, whose involvement in the field of
archaeology led him to record a discovery which
dates the song even more surely as pre-emancipa-
tion. This was a series of crockery commissioned for
Mrs. Rebecca Brandon of Kingston just after her
husband's death in 1838. According to Fremmer's
description, these earthware pieces were decorated
by under glaze transfers depicting Negro or animal
figures each accompanied by a few lines in Jamaican
Negro speech. Some of these composed whole verses
of "Quaco Sam" (text E). The existence and
provenance of these variant texts offers external
evidence for dating of a basic and general kind. They
establish that "Quaco Sam" does in fact date back to
the period of slavery.
Internal evidence such as the reference to massa-
tenky, the traditional gift from Massa, not only
supports this but helps narrow the range. Mention of
the whip and Driver Harry lowers the upper limit of
the range even more substantially. The whip was
legally abolished in the Jamaican Amelioration Laws
by a Public and General Act passed on 28 August
1833, yet even before this, indiscriminate flogging
such as that implied in "Quaco Sam" had become
rare. In 1828, in response to what he considers an
exaggerated description of such floggings, Barclay
argues that the whip is gradually falling into disuse2.
He insists that on some plantations, by the time of
his commentary, the whip is no longer exhibited in
the fields and that on others it is no more than a
custom or badge of authority. He continues, "In
Jamaica punishment is seldom inflicted on the same
day the crime has been committed; but early on the
following morning." (p. 44) If this is true then the
immediacy of the whip in "Quaco Sam" would
suggest a somewhat earlier date. We may question
Barclay because of his general tendency to present a
favourable view of slavery, but even earlier, in 1823,
Stewart notes both legal restrictions and a decline in
general usage. In fact, he reveals that on several
plantations it has been abolished for many years3.
Even as early as Lewis' stay in the island from
1815-1816 a Negro insists confidently that slaves
"must not be treated now, massa, as they used to
be" and advises Lewis never to flog a troublesome
slave but rather to sell him without marring his
appearance4 Lewis himself gave positive orders
against striking or even verbally abusing a Negro or
inflicting any punishment except by orders of the
trustee himself (p. 196), but, on the basis of his own
records at least, he must be assessed as more lenient
than most owners. Certainly, up to 1811, Collins
refers to the "much too frequent use" of the whip 5
The most we can say is that, unless the plantation in
our text is unusually harsh in comparison to others
of its time, a date for "Quaco Sam" more recent than
the first quarter of the 19th century seems unlikely.
The fact that the singer seems to be a woman,
considering the items of dress mentioned, may also
be relevant. The Lower House by 1828 put forward a
proposal against violence to the female body, but
since this was an Order of Council and not an Act we
cannot assume that it had general effect.
It should however be noted that authorities give
varying accounts on this subject, so that the
mention of the whip is an indication rather than a
fine historical marker.
For establishing a lower limit our most important
clue is the tell-tale "Regent gown", on the basis of
which we can conclude quite positively that "Quaco
Sam" could not have originated earlier than 1812.
There was of course an earlier period of the Regency,
from November 1788 to February 1789, when the
king's gathering depression reached the proportions
of violent insamty for the first time. But not only did
George III regain health within a few months; the
period itself was one of political crisis and
constitutional upheaval. It is hardly likely that
established cultural traditions of dress and
entertainment could have arisen and diffused from
such a brief and unstable situation across geographi-
cal and social barriers into the life style of Jamaican
slaves. It seems logical to take a date over two
decades later when the king fell again, permanently,
ill and the second period of Regency was established
(February, 1811). In fact, as restrictions on the
regent came to an end one year later than this, we
can assume that traditions of lavish elegance might
have gathered enough momentum to be reflected in
the conversation of Jamaican slaves no earlier than
1812-1813. A similar but less exact frame of reference
is offered by use of the term dandy. The Oxford
English Dictionary shows that by 1813-1819 the
term was in vogue in London for the "exquisite" or
"swell" of the period. It was already in use on the
Scottish border by the late 18th century and could
conceivably have reached the West Indies through
Scottish influence here. Its use in "Quaco Sam",
however, supports the former date by association
with fashionable life of the Regency period. Internal,
and specifically cultural evidence then defines a
period of about 11 years, 1812-1823, from which
"Quaco Sam" can be dated.
However the Encyclopedia Brittanica gives an
illustration of the quadrille being danced in the 18th
c. American Revolutionary costume. This could be
an indication that Quaco Sam reflects material
brought to Jamaica by Loyalists fleeing the
American Revolution, which would lower the date of
1814. This is arguable of course, but the
circumstantial evidence is there.
The historical background of Jamaican Creole
having been described in detail elsewhere7, a brief
summary should suffice to place this period of the
language's history in its proper context. The
language of the original Arawak population had
shared much the same fate as the inhabitants
themselves. Over one hundred years of Spanish
settlement not only crushed the native Indians out of
existence but wiped away all trace of their language
from the island except for a few words associated
with the physical environment, plants, animals,
place-names, and so on, which crept into Spanish
usage. Spanish colonisation itself was superficial and
again its linguistic heritage took the form of
place-names and a few everyday terms, many
modified by later English usage, together with the
handful of terms preserved from contact with the
Indians. The Spaniards were responsible for the first
importation of West Africans mto the island, but
after the arrival of the British expedition of 1655
when the Spaniards themselves were driven out,
these Negroes remained isolated from the British in
Maroon settlements. Cromwell's forces were
composed of recruits from various English regiments
but also from Barbados and the Leeward Islands.
The background of the latter group was varied and
colourful: Irish and Scottish rebels, white servants
and artisans fleeing their debts, criminals and
vagrants. Into the island, then, came not only a
welter of 17th century English dialects of wide
regional and social variety but the
foundations of a creole language, for the slave trade
was well established and with it doubtless a pidgin or
trade language, and Barbados, Nevis and St. Kitts
had been settled three decades earlier. Further
contact with West African slaves of varied linguistic
background would have increased the pressure on
speakers of mutually unintelligible languages to
adopt whatever common form was evolving. This
would have been subject to yet further formative
influences by trade and sailors' jargons and
eventually by non-standard varieties of English
spoken by the whites whom slaves most frequently
By the eighteenth century, Jamaican Creole was
well established as a mother tongue not only of the
Negro population but of many whites. Even among
the upper classes a form of creole, admittedly more
strongly influenced by English structures than other
varieties, was in use. And isolated from the British
Standard, Jamaican speakers had at first neither
motivation nor opportunity to remodel their
language on this prestigious form. Education and
missionary activity did little to increase contact with
Standard English until the 19th century, and even
then enactments which limited the teaching of
reading and writing to slaves contributed to
preservation of creole structure as clearly distinct
from English. So in the early 19th century the
vernacular was barely touched by Arawak or
Spanish survivals and consisted mainly of a largely
English based vocabulary supplemented with West
African words. Syntax and phonology, while
retaining resemblances to 17th and 18th century
varieties of English, were reshaped by the linguistic
habits of the submerged West African cultures all
this with relatively little pressure from the British
Standard itself. It is this conservative Japaican
Creole that is the language of "Quaco Sam"
As might be expected the morpho-syntactic
structure of the archaic language in "Quaco Sam"
differs little from what we may hear today in rural,
isolated areas of Jamaica. The main features which
distinguish Jamaican Creole*morpho-syntax from
English structure are clearly apparent in the text.
The verb is unmarked for tense, yo buy, and shows
no agreement with its subject, massa tenky tie me
troat. There is no passive, wan hag fe kill.But just as
there has been reduction of certain English
grammatical features there has been expansion
through West African structures. Paratactic
accumulation in come-tell and go-see reflects the
serial verbs familiar in Niger Congo languages, and
*- See Glossary Pages 28-29.
thecompounding of nouns0 as in foot-bottom and
cane-piece side could be of the same origin or could
reflect an English dialect. An auxiliary, durative
function is supplied by da, archaic, which compares
closely to an identical Twi word, "lie, be situated,
remain, rest". Even our most modern text (A), in
which the word does not appear, supports this
durative function by sense, rendering the phrase
"when de cock, begin a crow". Of the other small,
functional words which abound in the language, one
an definite article, shows an archaic English usage
reintroduced or surviving in the isolated
conservative creole. But in many cases it is difficult
to assess the relative influence of English and West
African structures on form and usage. The pronoun
is unmarked for case so that me and him occur freely
in subject, object and possessive functions.Perhaps
this invariability was reinforced by the presence of a
similar first person pronoun in Twi me and Fanfe
eme, but it is impossible to say with certainty.
Similarly, de, in a predicative usage, is apparently
influenced both by the adverbial Standard English
form there and West African verbal form, Twi de;
Ewe de, 'be'. The postposed plural marker-dem"is
based on Standard English them in form but is
unfamiliar in the Standard in this function.
The se particle which in creole follows such verbs as
hear, think, feel, functions, as in Twi, as a noun
phrase complementiser virtually equivalent to
English that. No doubt its establishment in the
creole was reinforced by a supposed resemblance to
Standard English say, especially in phrases such as
hear say; but in form and function se2 is
unquestionably West African. In addition we note
that even where an item is recognisably of English
origin it repeatedly occurs in structures unfamiliar in
English. English based nouns in III. 2, for example,
occur freely without articles. African items, of
course, fall even more naturally into characteristical-
ly West African patterns. Word formation by
reduplicative devices, especially simple iteration,
while relatively uncommon in Standard English, is
very productive in Jamaica as in West Africa and is
exemplified in such terms as fum-fum. Finally,
relationships in the sentence as a whole are often
carried by word order itself rather than by the use of
relational words, so that the juxtaposition of clauses
becomes vital and invariable as in VI. 2.
In "Quaco Sam", as in the modern creole, few
grammatical affixes can be found. In fact most of the
features itemised above have illustrated the
dominance of free morphemes and, consequently, a
paucity of inflections. This movement towards the
invariable word so clearly exemplified in the text is a
natural by-product, if not a major goal, of the
pidginisation process as a whole, and carries over
into the creole. But the tendency had already been at
work in British English centuries before the
transportation of that language to the West Indies
and was probably still in motion in the non-standard
dialects of English which influenced the creole. Such
a movement, already common in the language of the
ruling class, would of course have been greatly
intensified by the incompatibility of very unlike
grammatical systems forced into contact. As far as
English retained its inflectional system, it did so by
suffixation. Many of the West African languages, on
the other hand, inflected by prefixation. And it
seems that friction between the two modes would
most naturally have resulted in the erosion of
inflection itself as a system for making grammatical
Differences between the language of "Quaco Sam"
and the Jamaican Creole of today have come about
largely by a receding of features characteristic of old
Jamaican Creole before the prestige Standard
English forms. In "Quaco Sam" it is not the
individual features themselves which seem unusual
to the modern eye so much as the accumulation of so
many of them in so brief a space. We may recognize
certain features, like da, as archaic; but the most
obvious sign of antiquity is that, out of our present
day experience of the decreolisation process, we come
face to face in "Quaco Sam" with a paucity of
Standard English interference in contrast to what we
would expect of more recent texts. We feel that
instances of this hard core creole now persist mainly
in rural, isolated pockets and conclude that "purity
alone marks "Quaco Sam" as a relatively old text.
But for the most obvious evidence of change within
the past century and a half we must look nearer to
the surface where the momentum of change has been
greatest, at lexis and phonology.
The proper names alone, Quaco and Cubba, are
significant. Both are African day names, identifying
each subject as Wednesday's child, male and female
respectively? DeCamp has shown that by the mid
19th century pejoration of these had set in so that
they became for all practical purposes terms of
abuse, taking on senses of stupidity, boorishness or
immorality. By the end of the century they were
archaic as a system and are today obsolete except in
the pejorative senses noted above. In "Quaco Sam"
there is little sign that any such pejoration has as yet
taken place, except perhaps for the use of cudjoe
(originally a male name for Monday's child) used
here in the ninth sense listed by DeCamp, 'a stick or
cudgel'. But, as he points out, the presence of
Standard English cudgel probably accounts for such
usage by the process of folk etymology. So we can
take the day-names in "Quaco Sam" as maintaining
their original, unpejorated significance. Cubba
certainly appears tobe considered a reliable source of
information (II. 3)in contrast to DeCamp's gloss of
the pejorated term: 'stupid, ignorant, foolish
woman; typical name for a hog; fussy old woman,
domestic servant, homosexual, etc'. Quaco Sam
himself seems a popular figure, perhaps a well-known
Negro comedian. At any rate he bears no
resemblance to our modern understanding of Quaco:
'fool, insane, retarded, illiterate, old and feeble;
Maroon, country boy; criminal suspect, spendthrift,
etc.14 Rather, references to him in the song evoke a
picture nearer to the admiring description in
Apart from the names, other words like warra,
'what', and yerry, 'hear', are definitely archaic and
now gradually disappearing from Jamaican Creole.
In fact, as early as 1864, in his Etymology of
Jamaican Grammar, Russell recorded wara as
"nearly obsolete". Substitution of flap [r] for [t] in
the English source of warra is not unfamiliar in quick
informal English speech up to today, and even the
base year is an English dialect variant of hear, less
common than two or three centuries ago but not yet
quite extinct. In both terms the feature which
establishes antiquity is the final vocoid. This is
probably patterned on some form of vowel harmony
and added to words of English origin through the
interference of Niger Congo sound structure. Apart
from this archaic final vowel, the vowel system in
"Quaco Sam" seems identical to that of present day,
As far as the consonants are concerned there occur
numerous typical creole alternations rooted in
differences between English and West African
phonemic structure.1 For example, the variation
between [r] and [1 ] evidenced in the textual variation
swallow (A) swarra (B) may be explained by the fact
that these are not distinguished as functionally
separate and significant sounds (phonemes) in many
West African languages such as Twi and Ewe. The
Dictionary of Jamaican English"1 notes in its
Introduction that this [r]/ alternation is "a very
common feature of contact-varieties of English in
many parts of the world", and those familiar with
contemporary Jamaican Creole.will recall such local
pronunciations as that of flitters, 'fritters'.
Surviving more widely today than the [r]/
variation is the replacement of [v] by [b], yet even
this variation is less common than formerly, parti-
cularly in the consistency with which it occurs in
"Quaco Sam", nebba, ebry, hab, driba, busha.
Again, certain West African languages, notably Twi,
do not distinguish these sounds as significantly
One very curious occurrence which may point to a
further such archaic creole alternation is a
disagreement between our extant texts of "Quaco
Sam", III. 3, where text A has pan and B, E, fan.
The context certainly suggests fan, yet A is for the
most part a quite accurate text. No tradition of an [f]
/[p] variation has so far been noted by commentators
and pan may well be no more than an error. Yet for
considerations of phonemic symmetry, the
probability of some such obsolete variation is worth
A few odd and rather far flung scraps of evidence
occur. The Dictionary of Jamaican English, for
example, cites califeva, as a folk pronunciation of
calipeva and also, by folk etymology, Fancy Anna
for Poincianna." Most interesting of all is the fact
that.this [p]/[f] variation does occur in at least one
.other written record of Jamaican Creole, the negro
rendition of a Scottish song called "The
Woodpecker"'' which describes the peacefulness of a
country scene in which "ebry leap" was still.
Outside of the West Indies, in other contact
language situations, there is evidence of such
.variation. In the pidgin languages of Australia,
China, New Guinea, Papua, the Solomon Islands,
and many of the Pacific Islands of Polynesia,
Micronesia and Melanesia, documents attest
Australian aboriginal pronunciation of "Mr.
Flinders" by the spelling Midgah Plindah and of
coffee by caw-be. Similarly there are records of
Neo-Melanesian/pInga(r)/'finger', and Robert A.
Hall observes wider alternation between [fut] -
[out] [put], where [o] is an intermediate sound. He
notes, in many varieties of Pidgin English, /f/ and
/v/ .... were .... replaced, in the initial stages, by /p/
and /b/, respectively .9 Accumulating evidence
suggests that the sounds [p] and [f] were possibly,
like their voiced counterparts [v] and [b], m variation
in the earliest history of Jamaican Creole, that this
persisted in the case of voiced sounds clearly
supported by West African sound structure, but that
the relationship became indistinct and finally
vanished almost without trace in the case of
voiceless sounds which were distinguished in the
influential West African languages.
The text offers evidence of other archaic
alternations, not necessarily African in origin. The
[s][s] variation which occurs in midland dialects of
England is evident in Jamaica in terms such as
busha, common today but very far removed from its
English source, overseer. Less widely known is the
item shay-shay probably derived by an s s change
from sashay, a figure in the quadrille. Other terms
have no doubt influenced or reinforced this: French
chasse, probably the ultimate source; Twi saw and
Fante saa, "dance" (Dictionary of Jamaican
Identification of the other dance mentioned, the
Catch reel (A), cotch-reel (B), or Cod Reel (D) is beset
by even more difficult problems. A and B variants
would suggest the origin Scotch Reel, modified by
the usual simplification of initial consonantal cluster
and, in A, further vowel change. But how does one
explain the D-text, Cod Reel? The Dictionary of
Jamaican English, citing examples clearly similar to
lines in "Quaco Sam", derives katreel from quadrille,
ILI 7 '
Negro Dance Bridgens, National Library of Jamaica
SQuadrille being danced at an American
f Colonial Ball. The Bettman Archive
the latter syllable assimilating to reel, and notes that
quadrille and Scotch Reel may be homonymous in
the creole. Of course the Scotch Reel was very
popular in the early 19th century. Lady Nugent, at
the beginning of the century, joins in the Scotch Reel
with a greal deal of enthusiasm even when the
quadrille is "still in the womb of time".20 The
quadrille, which by the way figures clearly in the
cultural history of Trelawny according to the Dance
Map in the African Caribbean Institute, Institute of
Jamaica2'gains popularity somewhat later.
It was not introduced into London until 1814 but
there is evidence that it was known and danced in
colonial America before it went to Britain and may
well have influenced Jamaican culture from this
On the whole, there seems no major difficulty in
the way of identifying this dance positively as the
quadrille in view of the D-text variant, Cod Reel.
Since [jr] often replaces [dr] even in received British
pronunciation, and [dr] occurs in Twi only in loan
words, the creole word could well be expected to
show the voiced affricate [j] So the only problem in
accounting for the creole change quadrille -
catchreel is the unvoicing of the central affricate. So
far as we know there is no tradition of such a [c]/[j
variation. Yet there must have been at least an
occasional tendency to this in archaic Jamaican
Creole, not only because of the example mentioned
above, but because of a further occurrence in our
song, junka, apparently to be glossed as 'chunky
One final sound change, no doubt sporadic but still
of historical interest, occurs in craps. Initial s- was in
the archaic language, is never lost before vowels, but
only by reduction in certain consonantal clusters
(e.g. tan), and in contemporary creole it is often
restored with a svarabhakti vowel (e.g. simit, for
'Smith') inserted to separate two uncomfortable
consonants. This does not occur here, just as it does
not occur in several other words surviving to the
present day Yet the presence of what appears to be a
compensatory addition of -s to the end of the word -
an afterthought as it were testifies to some
linguistic insecurity in the creole even at an early
date. Compare Twi sotoo for stone and sukuv for
A few words deserve special mention: two archaic
items, massatenky (a gift from massa) and fum-fum
(flogging) obviously originate from the experience of
slavery. The first is English based, thankee having
been well enough known in colloquial English of the
early 19th century and no doubt reinforced by the
creole tendency to add a final vowel to result in a
sound pattern familiar to West African speakers.
The second term is African or quasi-African 2. West
African languages show a verb, fum, and in Jamaica
Creole the noun occurs as a reduplicated form.
Fum-fum then, while not necessarily an African
lexical item is a word formed by African devices on
an African stem. More familiar today are
putto-putto, nyam and backra, all well-known
reflexes in the modern creole of West African
sources. But not all archaic forms are necessarily
African. ax, for example, was not only an early
variant of Standard English but in fact was the
literary form until the beginning of the 17th century
(Oxford English Dictionary).And, more ancient still,
chakalata recalls the days before British occupation;
it is the old Spanish variant now generally replaced
by a form nearer the modern Standard English word.
In "Quaco Sam" it is the preferred variant perhaps
because its form coincides with the sound
patterning characteristic of West African languages,
the consonant-vowel consonant-vowel sequence.
Even apart from such obvious features there are
the innumerable details of pronunciation (such as de
for Standard English the) of word preferences (like
tan rather than 'stay', mash rather than 'stamp' or
'tread') and so on, which make up the expression
system of the creole as we recognize it today.
Needless to say such familiar aspects of the language
are not necessarily "newer" than those we have
isolated for commentary. But the latter are obvious
in their antiquity simply because they are less
widespread than formerly in some cases rare or
On the authenticity of "Quaco Sam" as a text of
archaic Jamaican Creole, it can be said that there are
enough extant fragments and substantial versions to
reconstruct the old song with some confidence of
accuracy. Part of this confidence is founded on the
difference between these texts not only in date but in
the circumstances under which they were recorded.
The E-text, for example, dates from the period of
slavery itself but was probably reinterpreted by ears
attuned to English rather than creole sound
structure. The A-text was taken down under 50 years
ago but apparently with great pains to reproduce
accurately the pronunciation of the informants and
almost certainly from a diminishing number of
elderly people who were among the last to preserve
this feature of a fading oral tradition. Some of the
familiar archaic alternations in sound discussed
above such as [r]/[l]in swarra/swallow are obvious in
"Quaco Sam" only because of these textual variants.
And it is on the basis of these same textual variants,
that the possibility has been raised of further, so far
unfamiliar, alternations such as [p]/[f] in pan/fan. A
single text like "Quaco Sam" can serve only as a
basis for raising questions. But some of these may be
essential to our understanding of the language
structure. Should speculations on [f]/[p] variation
prove valid our understanding of the consonant
pattern of Jamaican Creole and its relationship to
English structure must be reshaped. Where English
frontal stops and fricatives are structured on a
regular pattern of voiced and voiceless sounds for
labial and dental or alveolar position; stops
[p],[b];[tl[l] and fricatives [fl[v[;[ol[dk- Jamaican
Creole would then be seen as containing the stops
[p [b, [t][d] as alternatives to fricatives [f][vIoldi
And this would certainly reflect the tendency to
symmetry which seems to underly the phonological
structures of known languages.
A great deal remains yet to be done on "Quaco
Sam'. The cultural historians, for example, may
shed light on the identity of Quaco Sam himself, on
the nature of the celebrations described, the degree
to which British historical events such as the
Regency influenced the dress and entertainment of
slaves in Jamaica and the promptness with which
cultural innovations in Britain or the American
colonies seeped into slave festivities in Jamaica. And
perhaps the feature of "Quaco Sam" which will
attract widest interest will be what the song
reveals of its singers, not only in speech pattern
song reveals of its singers, not only in speech pattern
but in character. It is a revelation of great stamina
and resilience. The mischievous cross-questioning of
Cousin Cubba, the revelling in expectation of music,
meat, fine clothes and above all strenuous dancing
probably far into the night come back in the end to
the monotony of Driver Harry, Busha and fum-fum,
then rise above it. During the dance the burden of
slavery is thrown off and even afterwards, in the
mud of the canefield and against the background
sound of the whip the mind is unbroken and the
rhythm of oppression cannot subdue the singer's
incorrigible joie de vivre. Many, from literary critics
to sociologists, may be caught mainly by this
unshakeable sanity of vision in "Quaco Sam" in
the midst of a crushing dehumanising reality, the
singer focuses stubbornly on the brief intervals of
uninhibited revelry which make existence tolerable.
For the most part, we have concentrated mainly
on the archaic language of text. We have noted this
in syntax mainly in terms of accumulation of
conservative creole features rather than in the
occurrence of individual structures. Isolated
archaisms occur mainly on the level of lexis and
phonology and, on the latter level, especially in the
area of consonantal variation. Since none of the texts
have come to us direct from the lips of the slaves
themselves we must acknowledge some interference
from Standard English or at least from the modern
creole. So the text, as we have it, cannot be
identifical to the speech of Jamaican slaves at the
time of composition. But on the whole it seems
reasonable, not only in view of the provenance of the
variant texts themselves but on the basis of cultural
references within the song, to distinguish the
language of "Quaco Sam" from contemporary creole
by a lapse of about 160 years.
a speech sound involvingg first complete blockage of the air tract and then
immediate release along a restricted passage with audible friction e.g. the initial
sound (c) in chop; (z) in judge.
a sound produced by bringing the tongue close to or in contact with the
alveolum, that ridge of bone at the beginning of the hard palate behind the top
teeth e.g. the initial sound (t) in table; (s) in sand.
An expanded-pidgin which has acquired native speakers i.e. a "nativised
pidgin". This form of speech reveals affinities to the contributing language
a sound articulated by the action of the tongue near or against the upper teeth.
Interdental sounds are produced by placing the tongue between the teeth, labio
dental sounds by articulation the action of the lower lip against the upper teeth.
a regional or social variety of a language distinguished from other varieties by its
own pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. Structural Standard English (SE)
is only one of many varieties and is therefore only one dialect of the English
Language, although functionally SE is the most socially acceptable and
a sound produced by only partial obstruction of the air flow. This rushing of air
along a narrow passage produces audible friction as in the initial sounds of fat
I(f), that( (, sat (s). These sounds are further classified according to the point at
which the obstruction occurs. e.g. (f) labiodental. (el interdental, and (s) alveolar
a sound produced by articulation in the front of the mouth.
The process or result of adding or altering a word to indicate grammatical
categories. A good example is Latin, where the case endings or nouns are the
inflections. In English, the plural s as in boy/boysetc is an inflection.
a sound produced with the lips. e.g. bibabials are articulated with both lips as in
the initial sound in pan; labio-dentals are produced by the action of the lower lips
against the upper teeth as in the initial sound in fan.
the vocabulary items of a language and their semantic meaning.
Marked (vs. unmarked):
Where a grammatical category like tense or case is indicated, as by addition of
an affix to a lexical item, the category is said to be marked.
e.g. look/looked where looked is marked for tense.
The smallest unit of meaning or grammatical function in a language. The
morpheme may be a free form like many English words e.g. kind, play; or a
bound one like un- (negative), -ed (past tense) etc, affixed to the stem.
A term combining morphology and syntax. Morphosyntax is the study and
analysis of the structure, forms and classes of words, and their arrangement into
Noun Phrase Complementizer:
The complement or word which complements/introducesa noun phrase or
clause e.g. in English the Noun Phrase complementizer (optional) is that e.g. He
told me that he was sorry; in Creole the Noun Phrase Complementizera se e.g.
him tell mi se him sorry.
The joining to gether of sentences or clauses by means of juxtaposition, without
the use of conjunctions. e.g. He told me; I believed him (instead of he told me
and I believed him).
The smallest unit sound which a native speaker recognizes as significant in his
language. e.g. the /t/phoneme whether exploded centrally as in top, laterally as
in kettle or nasally as in mutton.
The study of the sound system of a language.
A contact language derived from two or more languages, where the grammar
and vocabulary of the contributing languages are drastically reduced and where
the resulting Pidgin is native to neither of its speakers. Such a language usually
emerges in situations of short and limited contact, by persons involved in trade
or among groups for whom an extensive exchange of information is not
The repetition of some part or all of a word, e.g. muddy muddy, helter-skelter.
a speech sound involving brief but complete blockage of the air stream and
immediate release, e.g. (p), (d), k).
Svarabhakti Vowel or Epenthetic Vowel:
a vowel inserted into a word
Sound produced with relatively little hindrance of the air flow so that resonance
occurs along the centre of the mouth cavity. Vocoid corresponds roughly to the
mere traditional term, vowel
Sounds for whose production the vocal chords do not vibrate e.g. the sound s in
Sue. cf its voiced counterpart z as in zoo.
I am deeply indebted to Mr. H.P. Jacobs, Secretary, Farquharson
Institute of Public Affairs, Kingston, for introducing me to the song
itself and for his unfailing generosity with both his time and his
material; to Ms. Olive Lewin, Olwin Cultural Services, Kingston, for
her co-operation in providing the music of the Chorus and a fragment
of verses which aided reconstruction of the original; to Ms. Beverly
Hall, Research Fellow in Linguistics, African Caribbean Institute,
Institute of Jamaica, for guidance on the West African background of
Jamaican Creole; to Miss Elsie Ellwood, my sister, Librarian at the
United Nations Development Programme, Kingston, for the
unlimited patience with which she helped to trace elusive material; to
Dr. Kemlin Lawrence, The University of the West Indies, St.
Augustine, for advice and continued interest in the manuscript itself.
Also to Mrs. Jean D'Costa, formerly of the Department of English,
U.W.I., Mona, for consultation and .assistance.
1. Chatto and Windus, 1929, p. 11.
2. A Practical View of the Present State of Slavery in the West
West Indies, London: 1828, pp. 42-43.
3. View of the Past nd P resent State of Island of Jamaica,
Oliver and Boyd, Appendix I, and cf. p. 221.
4. Matthew Gregory (Monk) Lewis, Journal of a West Indian
Proprietor, London: Murray, 1834, reprinted New York:
5. Negro Universities Press, 1969, p. 165.
6. Practical Rules for the Management and Medical Treatment
of Negro Slaves in the Sugar Colonies, Freeport, New York:
Books for Libraries Press, 1971, p. 173.
7. Encyclopedia Britannica Micropedia Vol. 8 (Piranha to Scurfy)
P. 335. Illustration from the Bettman Archives.
8. Notably by R.P. Le Page and David DeCamp, Jamaican
Creole, Creole Language Studies I, London: Macmillan,
9. See the works of Dillard, Schneider, DeCamp, Hancock,
Whinnon et al for existence of a pidain-creole on the ships and
in the slave-trading posts on the West African Coast.
10. Lady Nngent's Journal, ed. Philip Wright, Kingston:
Institute of Jamaica, 1966, p. 98.
11. See works of Christaller, Berry, Hancock, Redden, Osuwu, et al
on the grammars of West African languages. Also Twi Basic
Course, Foreign Service Manual for State Department, 1963.
Also articlesMervynAlleyne and the work of Colin Painter on
areal features of the Akan group of languages.
12. Works of Hancock, Bickerton, and current African linguists
may throw more light on this.
13. Cassidy LePage, Dictionary of Jamaican English explains this
form fully together with its Twi sources.
14. Edward Long, The History of Jamaica, London: T. Lowndes,
1774, 3. 2. 427; Philip Henry Gosse, A Naturalist's Sojourn
in Jamaica, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Long-
mans, 1851, pp. 232-33.
15. "African Day-Names in Jamaica", Language, XLIII. (1967)
16. See the works of Westerman and Ward, also Ladefoged et al
for phonetics of African languages.
17. F.G. Cassidy and R.B. LePage, Cambridge: The University
18. Compare flash and plash, both early associated with pools of
water; Spencer, Faerie Queen, II, viii, 36. 8-9, plesh;
Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, I, i, 23, plash, Tennyson,
Last Tournament, 420, plash; Henry Nelson Coleridge, Six
Months in the West Indies, London: Murray, 1826, p. 280;
The Oxford English Dictionary. The Dictionary of Jamaican
English also associates this pair and others, for example,
fere-fere and pere-pere, bufa- and buba.
19. Marly: or a Planter's Life in Jamaica, Glasgow: Griffin,
1828, p. 293.
20. Pidgin and Creole Languages, New York: Cornell University
Press, 1966, pp. 10, 30-31.
pp. 37, 85, and c.f. John Stewart, An Account of Jamaica,
London: 1808, p. 178; Ivy Baxter, The Arts of an Island,
Methuchen, 1970, 197-98.
21. Ryman Cheryl "The Jamaican Heritage in Dance" Jamaica
Journal 44, June 1980.
22. Foreign Service Manual for State Department. P. 219
23. Dictionary of Jamaican English. See also F.G. Cassidy,
Jamaica Talk, London: Macmillan, 1961, p. 70.
Some Remnants of
in Jamaican Speech
By Elizabeth MUller
Dr. Elizabeth Muller was born in Trier, West Germany in 1921. She
has been in Jamaica since 1954 as a Roman Catholic lay-Missionary
and part-time lecturer in St. Michael's Roman Catholic Theological
Seminary, and University of the West Indies until 1960.
She has also lectured at the Department of Education in 1962, been
Resident Tutor at the Extra Mural Department, Dominica in 1974,
and currently Resident Tutor Extra Mural Department.
Having always heard that practically no German
vocabulary other than the brr (as a command to stop
an animal pulling a vehicle) survived at the German
settlement of Seaford Town, Jamaica,1 I was
tempted to put this to the test. My experience in
Dominica (with the fluctuations in the survival of
French Creole, and the "dying" of the last remnants
of the Carib Language) and in different parts of
Europe (with the eradication of dialects and the
vanishing of the Romany Language) led me to
question this assertion.
The first step was to seize upon a situation where,
I admit, engineered car trouble at some distance
from Seaford Town attracted some teenage boys who
were bursting to show their knowledge of cars to an
obviously helpless female, a visitor to boot who could
not "understand English". They wanted to explain
to me that all that was needed was a push in order
that I could start in decompression. Whatever they
proposed I feigned not to understand, repeating
always, "German, I do not understand you They
finally demonstrated a pushing action and two of
them used the word deuen (pronounced "doi-an")
which is an expression for pushing used in
Westphalian and Rhenanian dialects, extending
eastward to the former Hanoverian provinces and as
driven into the Dutch language to the West. I
could, of course after this performance not check
with my informants, but I had "understood" that
the boys were from the Lambs River area which is
adjacent to Seaford Town. They looked very much
like Jamaican boys with a good portion of German
After getting more involved in the community of
Seaford Town, I began to ask for recipes for the
making of breads, sausages, and meals for special
occasions. I not only discovered typical German
recipes for Pumpernickel, Wurst, Eierkuchen but
also German expressions for cooking techniques
used in these recipes, for cooking utensils and
weights which could come straight out of my own
handwritten cookery book I inherited from my great-
grandmother, e.g. Lot (for a weight of roughly one
ounce) Waffeleisen (waffle iron), Nudel-roller (rolling
pin), Puffer (a certain type of biscuit), Backofen
(oven), Leberwurst (liver pate), Eimer (bucket) and
Wurstkessel (for the pot in which to simmer
sausage), Speck (for bacon). The use of scissors and
keys for the filling and stuffing of sausage meat into
the cleaned intestines, was explained to me again
with German expressions like: "you must do it
Schnell" (quickly), "the scissors must be sauber"
(clean) "the Eisen (iron) must not be rusty", and
Darm for intestines.
The expression schub (pronounced "shoob") is
generally used for pushing and is generally
pounced upon as "patois" by teachers in school.
Schubkarren (wheel-barrow) is widely used; Krippe
(nativity scene), plays a role in the stories told by old
people about Christmas. An Eulenspiegel,
sometimes also called Uhlenspeigel is a fellow who
likes practical jokes, Himmel (heavens) serves still
as an exclamation used by some oldsters. One infor-
mant told me of her grandmother's Spinnrad
(spinning-wheel) and reminisced about Eierbrechen
(egg breaking, an Easter custom). When telling
about Ostereier (Easter eggs) she counted in German
from 1-10, using for 7, 8, 9, the Low-German
pronunciation bordering on Dutch as used in the
first half of the 19th century in the Westphalia
An old gentleman (now emigrated) told me two
stories of the Eulenspiegel tradition, in English of
course, but interspersing it with interjections of
au-weih geschriehn (ouw vy geshreen a
Jiddish variant: exclamation of startled pain, not
used in the Original Eulenspiegel), aul, mhl, m-ml, in
the typical tradition of the German story-teller in the
Spinnstuben (meeting of people in the evenings for
spinning and a lot of courting). What struck me
forcibly was that in his English narrative his
interjections came at exactly the same places where I
was used to hearing them when as a child I coaxed a
centenarian great-aunt of mine to tell me those
"rude" stories. And then, to cap it all, the gentleman
said that these stories are really for Pinneiners
(pronounced pin-niners) an old dialect expression
of the Gottingen region for rascal, hallyon.
When I started classes in German in Seaford Town
with a number of students at their request they
were by no means only of German descent more
remnants of German language came to the fore and
are still coming!
A children's prayer, typical of the time of the
German immigration to Seaford Town was given to
me, almost word perfect but without any
understanding of the text:
Ich bin klein, (I am small,
mein Herz ist rein, My heart is pure,
soll niemand drin wohnen Nobody may live in it
als Jesus allein. But Jesus.)
The student's father used to say this prayer with her
when she was a child. Another student corroborated
this, adding that one of the old people in her family
used to say something that sounded like this during
Two students remembered a "song" and gave
some garbled words of it which made it possible for
me to recognize the old Marian hymn Alle Tage sing
und sage which, unfortunately, is used by Lutherans
and Catholics alike, and thus does not throw light on
the denominational inheritance. The same applies to
two Christmas carols Ihr Hirten erwacht and Dich
grussen wir, 0 Jesuein, which are, however, more of
the Catholic tradition.
At the moment my students are seeking
information from the old people and collecting
sayings. If this exercise should bring some results it
certainly will be in the nick of time as there are very
few people left whose grand-parents came from
Germany; most of them are fourth and fifth
generation. The old people also state that their elders
were very reluctant to tell about the "old land". It
seems that the original immigrants felt somewhat
bitter and verlassen (left) von Gott und der Welt (by
God and the world) as one informant told me.
Perhaps also the urge to make a life under difficult
circumstances contributed to quick assimilation and
acculturation in the new Heimat (homeland).
1. For an account of this settlement see Douglas Hall,
tiBountied European Immigration into Jamaica with Special
Reference to the German settlement at Seaford Town up to
1850", Jamaica Journal, Vol. 8 No. 4 and Vol. 9 No. 1.
\l . I.
THE CONTINUUM OF JAMAICAN
SPEECH FROM BASIC JAMAICAN TO
JAMAICAN STANDARD ENGLISH
Jamaican Standard English
The continuum of Jamaican speech is all those
forms of speech which exist within the linguistic
repertory of the Jamaican speech community. An
abstraction of this continuum would look like this:
A is the form of speech most distant from English
(Basic Jamaican B.J.) and N is what we shall very
loosely call Jamaican Standard English (JSE) for the
time being; here the forms in between A and N are
the intermediate varieties, B indicating forms closest
to Basic Jamaican, F. . forms closest to Jamaican
Standard English. To illustrate this concretely, let's
examine the following dialogue:
Mr. O'Connor teaches at the St. John's Primary
School. He is from England. One day he sees one of
his pupils on the road and asks him for his brother.
"Hello Son-Son, where is your little brother"?
"Im de a yaad sah. Im a nyam im dinna".
Mr. O'Connor looks at Son-Son blankly and
"Where is he"?
"Mi se im de a yaad sah. Im a nyam im dinna".
"A nyam"? Questions Mr. O'Connor.
"Yes, sah. Im a eat im dinna".
"Oh, I see; he's eating his dinner".
"Yes, sah. A so mi se. Im eating im dinna...
im a nyam im a eat im eating
im dinna im dinna im dinna
1 2 3
Him is eating him dinna".
In the above dialogue, Son-Son gives us four
different ways of saying Mr. O'Connor's "he's eating
his dinner". In fact, what we have here is a very good
example of how the continuum works. Son-Son's
first response yielded:
im a nyam im dinna
After Mr. O'Connor's questioning of the items "a
nyam", indicating a breakdown in communication,
im a eat im dinna
then, after the stimulus of Mr. O'Connor's
"he's eating his dinner",
Son-Son produces the next two levels:
im eating im dinna
him is eating him dinna.
If asked to rank all these sentences in terms of
their approximations to English, using numbers 1-5,
1 indicating greatest distance from Mr. O'Connor's
sentence and 5 indicating Mr. O'Connor's sentence,
even without linguistic training, we would end up
with the following table, modelled on diagram 2.
Nos. 1-4 are usually referred to as "patois" or
"broken English" or "dialect" or "creole"; No. 5
being referred to as "good English" or Standard
English. Mr. O'Connor's sentence, "he's eating his
dinner" could have been spoken by a Jamaican, but
with a different "accent". This would be an example
of Jamaican Standard English. The term Jamaican
therefore applies to all five possibilities indicated
We shall have to discuss further this notion of
Standard English but before doing this, we will have
noted from the proceeding dialogue that the same
speaker was able to produce varieties 1 through 4.
Indeed, speakers of these "non-standard"
intermediate varieties quite often switch back and
forth along the scale, as the occasion demands. There
will be very few cases in which some speakers will
use almost only Basic Jamaican; others use varieties
closer to the Basic Jamaican end of the scale; yet
others use those varieties closer to Jamaican
Standard English; and very few will only be able to
use Jamaican Standard English. But indeed there
are few Jamaicans who are situated at one precise
him is eating he's eating
him dinna his dinner
point on the scale. Exclusive Basic Jamaican
speakers would be represented by those people,
mostly of the older generation, living in remote rural
areas. On the other hand exclusive Jamaican
Standard English speakers would be difficult to
locate and would most probably be represented by
those Jamaicans who have been educated almost
exclusively abroad. The general pattern is that
individuals occupy zones on the continuum.
Movement along the scale, as we have indicated
above, is more the norm; this movement, as tipified
by Son-Son's speech, is called code-switching, and is
in most cases dependent on social context or on the
need for effective communication. Another good
example of code-switching is the speech of the
politician, who though able to speak Jamaican
Standard English and who usually speaks Jamaican
Standard English, switches to "non-standard"
forms, not necessarily because he thinks he will not
be understood in Jamaican Standard English, but in
order to establish a feeling of "oneness" with his
audience and to project a "grass-roots" image of
himself. Note therefore that effective communication
may mean movement toward Jamaican Standard
English or toward the Basic Jamaican end of the
scale. Now let us return to examine the issue of
Standard language in the Jamaican context.
The term Standard, as used above, is used to refer
to the form of speech which is established as "correct
usage". Standard English is therefore English which
has been standardized, i.e. rules of grammar have
been formulated, acceptable meanings set out in a
dictionary, spelling is fixed, and there is adherence to
the prescribed correct usages in all official activity of
the nation. Usages may be established by an official
authority (for example, the Academies of France and
Spain), or else these usages may emerge informally
through the prestige of writers and grammarians.
The Standard is usually based on the speech of the
"upper classes" of a particular region within a
country. The point implied in a functional definition
of language may be aptly emphasized here. The
Standard Language, in most cases, is originally
merely one regional dialect (the variety used by the
upper classes), which, by virtue of its historical,
political and social importance, becomes the basis for
the elaboration of the Standard Language. In
France, it was the dialect of the region surrounding
Paris; in Spain, the dialect of Old Oastille
(Castellano); in England, a Southern British dialect.
The dialect which becomes the Standard Language
has therefore no intrinsic or inherent linguistic
superiority over the other regional dialects, the
status being determined for the most part by
extra-linguistic factors related to socio-economics,
history and politics. It is also important to note that
more than one dialect of a language (in the structural
sense) may become standardized (i.e. become
standard languages). This is the case for Swedish,
and to a lesser extent English and Spanish. This for
example gives rise to a standardized form of English
in England (British Standard), another in the U.S.
(American Standard); similarly there is Castellano
(Spanish Standard) as well as a Latin American
Jamaican Standard English
In the case of Jamaica, there was once, as part of
the colonial legacy, a general acceptance of the
British Standard as the most prestigious form of
language. Jamaicans educated in Oxford,
Cambridge, London or Glasgow, took pride in
returning home with British Standard English
(Oxford "accent" preferably) as their most cherished
acquisition. Today, educated upper class Jamaicans
use a form of language that is close to the British
Standard, but which has its own characteristics
which distinguish it unmistakably from British
Standard English. Hence, we may wish to admit to
the existence of an emerging Jamaican Standard
English, that is the usage of upper class Jamaicans.
But in truth the picture is not so simple. A general
feature of the world today, is the challenge to the
political, social and economic power of the so-called
upper classes. Along with attempts at dislocation of
the economic power, there are also dislocations in
social prestige. Norms of social behaviour become
less rigid and non-standard forms become more
accepted. Numbers of upper classes have adopted
lower class forms of behaviour and the lower classes
themselves are acquiring greater confidence in their
Nowhere is this changing pattern more observable
thanin the sphere of language. In the specific context
of Jamaica, the location of social and cultural
prestige has apparently under-gone some shift
within recent years. Actual language usage has
changed in the sense that many formal contexts
(mass media, parliament, university lectures) from
which "non-standard" forms were previously
excluded, now show frequent use of these forms.
Such changes are merely conforming with changes in
other aspects of social behaviour, such as eating
habits and dress habits.
Since there are no tests designed to measure the
acceptability of different usages, it would be very
difficult to say which forms of speech are most
widely accepted as the correct norm in Jamaica. The
question of acceptability by the majority culture is
an important one and one which will merit its own
treatment. We conclude by assuming that, for the
purposes of this study, the speech of educated
members of the upper classes, represents the
Standard of Jamaica and we will refer to this as
Jamaican Standard English (JSE).
Extract from "Language & Dialect in Jamaica Issues"
by Beverley Hall Alleyne ACIJ Notes # 5 [Sept. 1980]
Some Comments On The Poetry Of
By Pamela Mordecai
Pamela Mordecai was a former teacher of English and also
Radio-Television-Film Interviewer-Presenter for Jamaica Informa-
tion Service-Agency for Public Information. She is currently
Publications Officer at the University of the West Indies School of
A Review of Lorna Goodison's TAMARIND
SEASON (Institute of Jamaica, 1980 92 pp., $12.00)
She has had poems published in Bim, Savacou, Jamaica Journal, Arts
Review, Caribbean Quarterly, Nimrod, and in anthologies, The
Caribbean Poem (edited by Neville Dawes and Anthony McNeil for
Carifesta '76), Ambakaila and Porang (edited by Cecil Gray for
Nelson). She is co-editor (with Mervyn Morris) of Jamaica Woman:
An Anthology of Poems and is a contributor to that anthology. In
addition, she has authored and co-edited several texts for teaching
Language Arts at all levels of the educational system.
Lorna Goodison's TAMARIND SEASON is
important in the developing body of poetry in the
anglophone West Indies for a variety of reasons. For
one thing, it is the most accomplished collection of
poems to be produced by a woman since Louise
Bennett's JAMAICA LABRISH appeared in 1966.
For another, it handles the creole continuum (that is,
the range of language between the deepest Jamaican
Creole and "Standard" Jamaican English) with a
versatility demonstrated by only one other poet in
the region, Barbadian Edward Kamau Brathwaite.'
This versatility in language is accompanied by and
informs a comfortable socio-cultural attenuation, a
width of self, that is peculiarly the poet's and is
perhaps related to the fact that, as a woman, she is
disposed not only to direct, but also to receive
experience. Whether she is reflecting on 'all the
things New York is' ("New York is a Sub-way Stop
- 1969") or 'dealing with a peasant/Bout a feeder
road' ("For A.N. and the Others") or proclaiming
triumphantly her victory over a would-be robber and
rapist ("For R&R in the Rain"), or describing 'the
road of the dread' in a poem so named, the absolute
assurance of the language, its clear authenticity, is
witness to the realness of the experience. The poet
does her living and loving all over the place;
sometimes she is a lady; sometimes she is a 'boasie
bitch' ("Tamarind Seeds" p.87). Always she is
herself, a brown poet with a marvellously variable
voice and a person open to the whole of experience.
This enthusiasm about Miss Goodison's book
needs no apology. I have remarked elsewhere that
the literature of the English-speaking West Indies
has, up till now, suffered from an unfortunate
lopsidedness in that the experience of these societies
has largely been recorded in its poetry, plays and
fiction, by men. Similarly, the body of criticism that
has sought to grapple with -the literature derives
from perspectives that are masculine. This pleasure
with the poet's work is not because she is a woman;
nor is this any shrill feminist quarrel. But it is
interesting that the first folk poet of stature in the
region3 is a woman, Louise Bennett, and that her
work managed to celebrate continuities with Africa,
in a language that is the first creation of the New
World communities, in poems that deal honestly and
affectionately with the ordinary lives of ordinary
people, at the same time that a whole generation of
Caribbean novelists, all men, were lamenting our
lack of identity and the fragmentation of our island
societies. In the extent to which Lorna Goodison is
comfortable with the native voice and happy to
record the local experience even in its most
anguished aspects, her work is in line with a
tradition that finds a direct antecedent in Louise
Before embarking on a closer scrutiny of the
poems, it is important to observe how
unspectacularly this woman shares her joy and her
hurt and her terror with us. It is only occasionally, as
in "Judges", when both the fact of her experience
and the interpretation of it join battle with the full
weight of the male establishment, that the poem
screams and the voice wavers a little. But these are
only a few poems out of eighty-nine (counting all the
"Tamarind Seeds") and what is being dealt with on
these occasions merely needed a bit more of her
'biding (her) time as only a woman can' (p.55) before
she spoke. Besides which, in this book there are
plenty of poems which deal more than adequately
with this 'judge man'.
The battle" for 'most memorable poem' in the
collection to use a crude but everyday 'measure'
to start with is between "For My Mother (May I
Inherit Half Her Strength)" and "The Road of the
Dread". The two poems, considered together, are an
excellent illustration of the kind of socio-cultural and
linguistic versatilities of which we spoke earlier.
The first is a praise poem, a tribute to the poet's
mother as the title indicates, and, by extension, to all
the other mothers who build these societies through
their work and their pain.(n fact the whole collection
is dedicated to the poet's mother, Dorice.) It is a
lament about the men who cannot return to their
women the full cup of love so timidly, tremulously
and unreservedly offered them. But that is only part
of what it is. It is, also, to use a phrase of Walcott's,
a finely drawn 'sociological contour',5 and, to use a
phrase of Brathwaite's, a stretch of "time's walking
The history of "For My Mother" returns us to
Harvey River, Hanover of perhaps half a century
ago; the love story begins at a Sunday afternoon
cricket match to which her father
had ridden from a country
one hundred miles south
.... he dressed the part
visiting dandy, maroon blazer
cream serge pants, seam like razor,
and the beret and the two-tone shoes. p.61
The sociological contour is already being drawn: it
is a courtly time, a time of genteel poverty, the
mixing of bloods, the reaching for romance and
beauty and grandness in this country town in a tiny
island place. We have said Miss Goodison is a
'brown' poet: we mean many things by it, the simple
fact recorded here is that her father discovered her
mother by the oleander, sure in the kingdom of
my blue-eyed grandmother.
We remember Walcott's dilemma of being 'divided
to the vein',7 his growing up in a time when his
generation yearned for whiteness, for candour,
unreturned.8 And set against this the casual record
of this grandmother's blue eyes, and later, in my
favourite "Tamarind Seed" (p. 87), the poet's noting,
with throw-away irony -
two little girls to sit
in the garden
to play at tea
I had good hair
they sent me.
It is the same historical experience with which
both poets deal, yet their responses admittedly
inadequately catalogued here are vastly different.
What has Walcott wringing his hands and rolling his
eyes well into middle age, is understood by Lorna
Goodison as a destructive madness that passes as
society achieves its liberation in the consciousness of
people like herself.
It is a courtly time, as we have said, and a time of
genteel poverty; her father abandons the cricket
match to pursue the new acquaintance with her
He wooed her with words and he won her.
He had nothing but words to woo her,
On a visit to distant Kingston he wrote,
"I stood on the corner of King Street and looked,
and not one woman in that town was lovely as
you." (p. 61)
The sociological contour is thus extended, and
even further, as the poem wryly mocks the jargon ...
My mother was a child of the petite bourgeoisie
studying to be a teacher, she oiled her hands
to hold pens.3
My father barely knew his father, his mother died
he was a boy who grew with his granny.
Read between the lines for colour, social history,
the conditions for the growth woman nurtured -
of male prerogative.
And there is the reaching for a better life manifest
in the effort to make this a fairytale wedding,
abetted by the emigrants, Albertha and Rose,
themselves no doubt gone in search of a 'better life':
My mother's trousseau came by steamer through
the snows of Montreal
where her sisters Albertha of the cheekbones and
the perennial Rose, combed Jewlit backstreets
with French-turned names for Doris' wedding
Such a wedding Harvey River, Hanover, had
Who anywhere had seen a veil fifteen chantilly
and a crepe de chine dress with inlbts of silk
and a neck-line clasped with jewelled pins!
(pp. 61, 62)
On her wedding day the bride weeps 'For it was
a brazen bride/ in those days/ who smiled.' The
made one assertive move, he took the imported
from the height of the cake and dropped it in the
between her breasts ... and she cried.
The act is at once a symbolic public assertion of
the new ownership and its consequent right to
intimacy, as well as an image of how later, by his
infidelity, her father will remove the idealized
cnerumic image of love from its lofty preserve, and
plunge her mother's heart the soft territory
between her breasts into pain.
The rest of the story we know well: the mother
forever at her SINGER breast-feeding as she sews,
teaching reading as she sews, making clothes from
miniscule pieces of cloth and meals from the merest
And she rose early and sent us clean into the world
and she went to bed in
the dark, for my father came in always last.
The late home comings anticipate the heart break,
sketched by the daughter as delicately and gently as
the mother must have held restraint between her
pain and the knowing of her children:
There is a place somewhere where my mother
never took the younger ones
a country where my father with the always smile
my father whom all women loved, who had the
perpetual quality of wonder
given only to a child ... hurt his bride.
The father dies and his "Friend" stands by the
mother at the funeral, a torment even in death,
though the poem does not say this, for even that
anguish is contained. The mother sews dark dresses
for the women and buries him dry-eyed. It is only
weeks after that, singing in her kitchen
she fell down a note to the realization that she did
not have to be brave, just this once
and she cried.
For her hands grown coarse with raising nine
for her body for twenty years permanently fat
for the time she pawned her machine for my
Senior Cambridge fees
and for the pain she bore with the eyes of a queen
and she cried also because she loved him.
This archetypal account of the married love of
generations of West Indian women of the 'middle
classes' is rendered in a formal narrative register in
the middle to upper levels of the creole. The middle
level has the father coming 'from a country
(Kingston)/one hundred miles south'; his pants are
'seam like razor'; his shoes are 'two-tone': and he
'grew with his granny'. The re-iteration of structures
that Allsopp9 and others have identified as a typical
linguistic/expressive strategy of Westindian creoles
also dictates portions of the prosody.
The whole poem, in its concerns and its language,
is in fine counterpoint to "The Road of The Dread".
Like Dennis Scott's "Uncle Time", "The Road of
The Dread" represents a bold and limber use of the
Creole for serious poetry. The instances of such
poems are still rare, the level of the Creole being close
enough to the 'bottom' or 'basilectal' forms. The
poem is special too in that, whereas a poet like
Cyrene Tomlinson does use the Creole to describe
and rail against the ravages of ghetto living,10
"Road of The Dread" shares with "Uncle Time" a
quality of distance, a meditative philosophic aspect
appropriate to the prevailing definition of the
Rastafarian self as primarily religious.
Also appropriate to the Rastafarian persona is the
use of a pronominal 'I', not the 'correct' English
form, but a version of the uninflected 'I' of the
Rastafarian Creole sub-dialect. There is, of course,
the suggestion that the 'Dread' of the title is at once
the Rastafarian persona and the (again Rastafarian)
expression of a desperate, deprived and oppressed
The same wry quality, the empathy that enables
the poet to deal creatively with the problem of
colour, ensures that the existential horror of the road
That ... no pave
like any other black-face road
it no have no definite colour
and it fence two side
with live barbwire
is contained in a perception of the world and a life
experience resilient enough to cope with the most
Pan dis same road ya sista
sometime yu drink yu salt sweat fi water
for you sure sey at least dat no pisen,
and bread? yu picture it and chew it accordingly
and some time yu surprise fi know how dat full
The vision here is true and unpretentious; it is
uncontaminated, rooted,basic as the wisdom of the
folk. Like the peasant (in his best incarnation), the
Dread reaches for and is deeply sensitive to beauty
and harmony and love when they surface in nature
and human relationship. Because the Dread values
and is disposed to seek these things, he finds them,
even on this road:
Den why I tread it brother?
well mek I tell yu bout the day dem
when the father send some little bird
that swallow flute fi trill me
And when him instruct the sun fi smile pan me
and the sky calm like sea when it sleep
and a breeze like a laugh follow mi.
or the man find a stream that pure like baby mind
and the water ease down yu throat
and quiet yu inside.
and better still when yu meet another traveller
who have flour and yu have water and man and
make bread together.
And dem time dey the road run straight and sure
like a young horse that can't tire
and yu catch a glimpse of the end
through the water in yu eye
I won't tell yu what I spy
but is fi dat alone I tread this road.
The poem is one of Lorna Goodison's very fine
"For Don Drummond", another serious poem,
code switches from an almost formal creole register
to English and back. The poem celebrates and
laments Don D as a tragic hero doomed because the
'caul' which he was born with over his eyes has not
been buried "under some special tree ... The Angel
Trumpet Tree". The muted tones of the poem recall
the sweet melancholia of the man's music. The
language is as indigenous in its carefully controlled
mixing as were the Don's melodies, drawing as they
did on Black American, jazz and native folk forms.
The Angel Trumpet flower in the poem becomes a
unified image of the man's horn, the music, the
artist's perception, the lament for his dying, and the
promise of ressurection -
And this time do the burial right fi we
Bury The Don under the Angel Trumpet Tree.
There are other poems in which the poet switches
codes a language behaviour common in the
anglophone Caribbean purposefully and to
considerable effect. "Ocho Rios" employs deepish
dialect in an exchange between the poet and the
"how much for the curry goat?"
"Fi wan curry goat"
"A four dollar fi tourist sista"
then switches 'up' in its narrative to forms a little
higher on the continuum:
I beat her down to a dollar fifty
she says I am clearly roots
I tell her the curry goat irie
and then, in an extraordinary evocation of the sense
of place, something at which she is excellent, the
poet proceeds to commentary in an English of finest
It's true. Its taste strokes my senses gone wild
astringent vegetables and heaps of earth
The crotchety old maid selling lace and the one
from St. Mary
Face oiled with Necromancy, selling asophetida
and mustard yellow
sulphur and Kananga Water and frankincense and
The code sliding is not mere linguistic
pyrotechnics; it is an integral formal part of the
whole statement/query of the poem, summed up in
the final three lines:
This market belies your investments Isabella
And you Comboulous, whose aims conjuncted
with Venn and Penables,
language use in this poetry. Poems like "Bridge
Views", "Country Road Sunday Night", "England
Seen" and the "Tamarind Seed" on page 87, make
trenchant comments on our communities, describing
vividly material contexts and situations in language
that shiftsto match these as they change. The effect
is one of endless variety, the place continuously
emerging, the culture ever broadening, the language
equally stretched. Consider "Country Road Sunday
COUNTRY ROAD SUNDAY NIGHT
(for Phillip & Judy Mascoll)
A look a drive tonight,
traveller on the road
hold this pace
from Shepherd drum
Monday morning soon come.
a while back
pass a country bop
S fretting the arse
of a sunday guitar
Country? and Western is
the way to Sav-la-mar;
smell the sea?
it not too far.
Bless the lovers
wrapped in culverts
sweet is the knot
in Satan's snare,
which Colonizer is winning in Ocho Rios?
Whose is our culture? Whose our language?
Whose the combulous mix-up that happily prevails
in Ocho Rios?
It is tempting to dwell on considerations of
going home to mi light
in the window
monday morning near
The first line is mesolectal (middle level) creole,
but the next four, indeed, the next five (bar the
ellipsis of 'will' in the future tense form in line 6) is
typical preacher style, with only the reference to the
drum locating the statement in this place. The hitch-
hiker of line one is sucked into, becomes a part of the
Sunday night worship rituals of pukumina and
pentecostal tabernacle that line Jamaican country
roads. The drum rhythms echoed in the verse are
part of the creation of the circumstance.
The religious rituals whisk past or the now
stationary traveller recalls a 'country bop'
"fretting the arse/ of a sunday guitar". The music of
the bop is American Country and Western. As the
term is used in the poem, it forms part of a clever
double-entendre, the 'Country' half of which
represents a query about how much Jamaican
country is still 'country', and the 'Western' half
being simply the direction in which Sav-la-Mar lies.
The name 'Sav-la-Mar' itself hides a similar duplicity
which emerges when it is set against the next line,
'smell the sea?"
The whole verse is middle level, as verse 4 is
English, with 5 reverting to the mesolect in such a
way that the ritual of verse 1 is recalled, not only by
the caution "backslider beware" but also by the
thread of rhyme in 'snare', 'near' and 'beware'.
The shift in language in this poem (and in "Ocho
Rios") is probably better described as 'code sliding'
than 'code switching' for the change between levels
is not abrupt. Rather the adjacent forms are close on
the continuum and each slips into the other, even as
the countryside flows past on the drive.
One or two other elements which the use of creole
contributes to these poems need to be mentioned.
Some of the immediacy of place and situation on
which we have remarked is achieved by its use,
whether in first person speech or reportage. The
spoken word (as monologue or dialogue) enlivens
poems like "England Seen", "Ocho Rios", and "For
A.N. & The Others". The dialect often adds humour,
whether it is in the good natured haggling with the
cookshop lady in "Ocho Rios", or the taking the
mickey out of the textbook revolutionary (who
cannot endure the rainiconnecting "with his mole") in
"For A.N. & The Others", or the superciliousness of
immigrant hairdresser, who declares in "England
"I tell them white people that England is
nowhere, at least I can't starve at home
if is even breadfruit tree I can stone".
And it also contributes a basicness which, in this
poem, prompts Icylyn's observation of the following
piece of social landscape:
"she come out white, everything
except her hair, it bad!
She cream it every month,
and everytime she come here
she ask me where is the loo
It don't move from the backyard
as far as I know".
"England Seen" reports on a bit of colonization in
reverse and is part of Miss Goodison's wide-ranging
social commentary. Icylyn "presses on" (persists) at
her hair straightening trade; she has become part of
the England Scene. But England is also "seen"
(experienced) by her, as well as "sighted", which is
Rastafarian for "interpreted", "identified", "known
as what it is".
Of a piece with this kind of commentary are "My
Late Friend" and "A Brief History of a Jamaican
Family", the first more successful than the second.
Whereas the latter charts a hazardous course
between almost-prose statement and clever images,
as it seeks to pillory a family of substance for its
social irresponsibility, "My Late Friend" persuades
us with metaphors that celebrate the beauty of this
black woman and regret the treason which prompts
her to defect to whiteness.
We need to remember, as we discuss Lorna
Goodison's work. that she is an artist as well as a
poet. The keenness of her observation, her certain
demarcation of shapes, her canny sense of physical
and sociological textures are undoubtedly related to
that other cousin sensibility. Poems like "Guyana
Lovesong", which carefully vignettes that country,
object of a visit by hurt persona; "On Houses",
where the houses image the need for the soul to
repose in relationship, in a loved and familiar
Otherperson; "Port Henderson 6 A.M.", which
celebrates dawn "the horse of the morning/
spectacular" as seen from that place; "Wedding
in Hanover", which describes the ritual of the
country bride bathing with her young woman friends
(the "elected virgins") at the river; as well as those
we have already discussed, are all imbued with this
clearness, brightness, nice perceptual acuity. Even
the romantic "Moonlongings" in which the poet
fantasizes about travelling on the moon to her
sleeping lover, paints a vivid picture, muted though
the tones may be.
It is this painterly self that gives us the surrealist
"Sketches of Spain", "Xercise for Tony Mc", "The
Day She Died", "Sagittarius" and "Whose is that
Woman?". The first of these in particular not only
combines objects to make a picture of the orderly
derangement of another world, but creates in
addition a mood with the haunting quality of the
Music of Miles Davis. to whom it is dedicated.
Also benefitting in a special way from this gift for
description are the 'Haiti' poems "Hymn to
Blanche", "Blanche Replies" and "Kenscoff" and
a favourite of mine, "Gordon Town Morning". It is
easy to miss the full intent of the Blanche poems in
particular. Both are vivid social comments
concerning an important irony, for this first black
republic has nurtured a man/lover who despises his
blackness and "worships the white" in his beloved
Blanche. The young woman curses ("Merde") her
fate; she had wanted a man like the handsome young
black in the statue sucking the conch shell. Still she
persuades herself to compromise -
But that statue could fill the void
in this bed ...
His creole weakly rises,
I should be dead!
(The weakly rising creole refers of course to his
linguistic and sexual members, both of which in their
lack of vitality witness to the absence of his sense of
In "Kenscoff" we find the sights and smells and
social circumstances of the real Haiti, the Haiti of
Michelle who "sells broad leaf mint", the land of
"Arum lilies pouting for deep rain kisses" where,
nevertheless, "some of us eat stone". "Gordon Town
Morning" contains the same kind of counterpointing
of, on the one hand, a childhood security in a
perfection of place, and, on the other, a painful
subsequent history, also associated with the place,
that destroys the childhood idyll. Bravely the poet
dismisses the anguish:
It was nothing my brother/companero it happened
And Wai Rua does not lead to home anymore.
The sense of the vulnerability of things, their
capacity to be spoilt, to be evil, surfaces frequently
elsewhere: in "Defenceless", "Today", "An
Inventory", "For Seymour", "She", "A Jean Rhys
Lady", "Temptation Poem", "Premonition for J",
the "Tamarind Seed on page 91, and especially the
title poem of the collection, "Tamarind Season".
We need to comment finally on the love poems.
"For My Mother" is the love poem in the collection,
but there are others, among them one or two of the
"Tamarind Seeds". The "Tamarind Seed" on page
88 describes the readiness of the heart to take wing,
to love. (The one on page 85 is harsh in its derision of
Sister Christine whom love has NOT blessed -
Sister Christine hated men
But she married the Lord
and he's never touched her
so let it be
The one on page 83 revels in the poet's "tall found
lover/ who emptys ashtrays after me" with a gleeful
childlike innocence. It is this same tall lover (we
surmise) who is rejoiced at in "For The Tall
Comrade". If "Letter to my Love" aches for the
covering of a man's love, "For The Tall Comrade"
records the security, comfort, vivification, the
restoration of roots which grows out of that
The love poems indeed, all the poems pay
homage to simple truths: that love is revolutionary;
that self-hate is destructive; that violence and greed
and malice still stalk our societies; that we pretend
and pretend and pretend; that class still divides us;
that language is an important part of our liberation;
that our societies still cannot/ will not protect "the
soft welcome within" in their women.
The sensibility in TAMARIND SEASON is a
woman's intimate, gentle, shy, painstakingly
honest, acerbic, maniac, mercurial. This is the
important other half, the perspicacity missing from
the current record of the literature of the Caribbean.
Lorna Goodison's use of language is exciting in its
versatility; it is married to the range of content of
the poetry and deployed with the confidence which
perhaps resides only in the supposed 'matriarchs'
who (our men tell us) make these societies. The
poetry rejoices in this place and the myriad facets of
life experience which it offers. The exhilaration of
beating the would-be robber and rapist in "For R&R
in the Rain" is the excitement of overcoming the
impulse to violence in these societies. For the
present, at least, it is truly a woman's triumph.
The poet's illustrations add to the book: the cover
is pleasing and the internal graphics easy enough on
the eye, though the poems are a little too high on the
1. Other poets Morris, Scott, Walcott, interalia utilize both the creoles and
Standard Caribbean English but neglect the range in between. The persona in
Walcott's recent "The Schooner, 'Flight' does use portions of this middle
Imesolectal) level of the post creole continuum. Certainly the language of the
characters in Walcott's plays ranges up and down the full extent of the
continuum. But a book as important to the whole body of his work as the
autobiographical poem ANOTHER LIFE is largely in the Standard language and
the language variation in the eleven volumes of his poetry cannot be said to
reflect the levels and registers of the continuum in the way that Brathwaite's -
and now Lorna Goodison's works do.
2. See Mordecai, Pamela, "The West Indian Male Sensibility in Search of
Itself: Some Comments on THE MIMIC MEN, NOR ANY COUNTRY and THE
SECRET LADDER" unpublished paper, 1980.
3. We are aware of the earlier works of Claude McKay in Jamaica and Edward
Cordle and Archie Greaves in Barbados. However none of these poets achieved
in their dialect poetry the kind of stature and permanence that Miss Bennett's
work has indisputably won her.
4. A possible still earlier antecedent to both ladies is Una Marson. Lloyd
Brown tells us (WEST INDIAN POETRY, Twayne Publishers, 1978, p. 34) that
Marsons's work achieves a new level of sophistication, blending racial, sexual
and cultural experience, and venturing into a much more self-confident and
innovative use of language.
5. From Walcott, Derek, ANOTHER LIFE (Farra, Straus & Giroux, New York,
1973) Chapter One, Part ii: describing his painting of Castries harbour, the poet
In its dimensions the drawing could not trace
The sociological contours of the promontary.
6. See Brathwaite, Edward, "Techiman" in MASKS, OUP, London, 1968, p.
7. See Walcott, Derek, "A Far Cry From Africa" IN A GREEN NIGHT,
Jonathan Cape, London, 1962, p. 18.
8. See Walcott, Derek, ANOTHER LIFE, op cit. p. 4.
9. See Allsopp, Richard, "Caribbean English And Our Schools" in.
CARIBBEAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, Vol. 6 No. 2, April. 1979
10. See Tomlinson, Cyrene, "Foam, Foment, Ferment", "Dis Hypocrisy" and
"Message from the Grave" in Mordecai, Pamela & Morris, Mervyn (eds.)
JAMAICA '.WDMAN, Heinnemann Educational Books, (Caribbean) Ltd., 1980.
11. I am indebted to my colleague Lise Winer for the term "code sliding":
insofar as I know, it originates with her.
23 YV 8 ac
Pauline Gordon was born in Kingston, Jamaica, educated at St.
Hugh's High School, then at the University of the West Indies, where
she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree.in General Studies. After
graduation she continued her musical studies privately and then at
the Royal Academy of Music in London where she gained the
L.R.A.M. and A.L.C.M. diplomas in pianoforte teaching and playing.
She is presently teaching music at the Immaculate Conception High
School in Jamaica.
The grey, icy dawn rose over the grey walls of the
huge housing estate. Jack Frost walked the grounds,
painting the green grass and skeletal trees the colour
of his white hands, thus asserting his temporary
imaginary dominance over all things that had colour
and life. The warm brown earth, the source of all
material life was imprisoned and stifled, or so it
seemed, under his white robe. He shook his head and
his dandruff fell softly to the ground.
Woolenly and warmly wrapped in cold blue, the
postman slipped an official looking white envelope
through the letter box at the flat at Number 3. It lay
on the floor of the warm flat like an icicle from the
A patter of feet was heard running down the
brightly coloured carpeted stairs, to the similarly
covered floor below. A pyjama clad girl of nine
appeared, her eyes shining with expectation and
lighting up her black face.
"I hope the letter is from Grand-Auntie Jean,
Mom," she shouted.
She grabbed the letter from the floor with eager
little hands. The light suddenly went from her eyes
and an aging frown appeared on her young brow.
The white icicle began to have its effect.
"Oh it's from school," she muttered in
By Pauline H.V. Gordon A
disappointing undertones, on seeing the name of her
school and its emblem on the envelope.
"Mandy, whose letter is it?" asked the inquiring
maternal voice from upstairs.
"It's for you and Dad," she replied softly.
"I can't hear you child, speak up!"
"I said it's for you" she replied curtly.
"All right Miss Big Woman none of your
freshness, put the letter on the dining table and come
up and get ready for school."
Mandy flung the letter unto the dining table in the
small brightly coloured wall-papered kitchen. Then
she reluctantly plodded upstairs. Half way up she
stopped and thought.
'How come we are getting a letter from school
now? It couldn't be my report, it's not end of term,
and I didn't get into trouble at school not any serious
She made another step and stopped.
'Unless it's about the fight I had with that white
toffy nosed Jane. But that wasn't so serious, and any
way we made up after. I wonder if ...'
"Mandy!" her mother shouted, interrupting the
child's worried thoughts.
"What are you doing child? Hurry up or you'll be
late. I am coming down to fix the breakfast now."
Mandy dashed up the few flights left and ran into
Mrs. Greene came downstairs while buttoning up
her dressing gown. She went into the kitchen and
began preparing the usual breakfast. Her husband
had already eaten. He was on the early shift at work,
and had left home at six o'clock that morning. In
about fifteen minutes the breakfast was ready and
placed on the table.
The white letter, then caught her eye. 'St.
George's School' was written at the top of the
envelope. A chill suddenly went through her body.
"God, I feel as if somebody just walked on my
Par a vio 1
grave. Why am I getting a letter from the school
now? If that blasted child has got herself into any
trouble to bring any more shame on me, me and her
in here today!" she said aloud to herself.
As she read the letter she frowned. "I wonder what
this woman want to see me for?"
"Mandy!" she shouted, "you are not dressed yet?
Come on your breakfast is getting cold."
Mandy slowly came downstairs and entered the
kitchen. She nervously looked at the opened letter in
her mother's hands. She sat at the table and began
eating. Her mother returned the letter to the table
and also sat.
"Mandy, want you to tell me the truth. Have you
got into any trouble at school?"
"No Mom," she quietly replied, while stirring the
cereal slowly with her spoon. To her the milk seemed
to be drowning the golden-brown cereal. Then she
hurriedly continued eating.
"I hope you are telling me the truth or you know
what you will get."
She concentrated her eyes on her meal to escape
her mother's accusing stare. Her mother then started
to eat, with a distant look on her face. Suddenly she
turned around and looked at the clock on the wall
"Hurry up now it's a quarter to eight. Reihember
to brush your teeth again and bring the Afro comb
from upstairs, make sure you have all your books
The child left to do her mother's bidding and
returned with the items after having performed her
dental task. Her mother then combed her hair for
her, patting it now and then to ensure that it was
"I have to get your hair shaped again."
"I want you to do it in cane row Mom. All my
friends have theirs like that."
"Well get one of them to do it for you. I can't do it.
At least I wouldn't have to comb it so often. You
have everything in your bag?"
"Here's your lunch money and bus fare. I don't
want you romping on the road, and behave yourself
at school. I can't imagine what the Headmistress
want to see me for. Put on your coat and scarf, and
remember your gloves. Are you sure you have on
your warm vest? Take your umbrella,it's snowing."
"Yes Mom," Mandy sighed as she went to collect
her coat and umbrella from the coat rack in the
hallway. She thought that her mother sounded like
an old worn out record.
Mrs. Greene accompanied her daughter to the
door. They hugged each other. Mandy clung to her
mother as if gathering extra warmth before going
out into that cold white world.
"Bye Mom," she said as she closed the door
Mrs. Greene returned to the kitchen and hurriedly
cleared the table. She piled the dirty dishes and pots,
with those her husband had used, into the sink to be
washed when she returned home that evening.
"Good Lord, look at the time I must hurry!" She
hurried upstairs and got dressed for work.
While sitting in front of her dressing table and
conibing her hair, she gazed steadily at the hastily
made-up face in the mirror. She thought how strange
it was that having a child could add so many years to
the twenty-five she already possessed. Then she
plucked out a grey hair she suddenly espied in the
mirror. She wondered how women with more than
one child managed or seemed to do so.
Her mind began wandering back to the time when
she had been pregnant with Mandy. She was 'Sweet
Sixteen' then, or so her parents had thought until
they had discovered that their right age would have
suddenly been shown when people noticed that they
would soon become grand parents. This would have
been especially damaging to her father who had
fancied himself a young lady killer. Her mother had
been determined to be the only young mother in the
house. So out their daughter had to go. In to a hostel
she went. She had managed to find temporary work
with the help of a job agency.
Mandy had been born in the winter. She had never
seen Mandy's father again. She had met him at a
club and had succumbed to his caramel tongue,
thinking herself lucky to have got him, because all
the girls, both black and white, were after him. The
'Black Casanova', he was dubbed.
She had managed to find a permanent secretarial
job, the one she still had. She had been fortunate
enough to have studied shorthand and typing at
school. The job had enabled her to afford a child-
minder for Mandy. She then only visited Mandy on
week-ends. She had left the hostel and had rented a
bed-sitter in the house of a Jamaican family.
It was there, on Christmas Day, she had met Jim
Greene, a friend of the said family. He had
previously not been a regular visitor to the Smith
household, only on Bank Holidays, Christmas and
Easter. After that special Christmas they had
thought how strange that they saw him so often.
Every weekend! Mrs. Smith had conceitedly thought
that it must have been her special Christmas dinner
that finally did the trick. Jim Greene was after all an
Lucille had not allowed herself to fall in love with
Jim at first sight. She well remembered the outcome
of such hasty emotions. He was much older than she
was. He had been divorced. He offered her the very
thing she so badly needed, security. Her having had
a child did not seem to discourage him. He had no
children of this own. She had thought herself
fortunate, because it was usually difficult for a
young woman with a child to find a husband.
They had got married at the Registrar's office that
spring. Mandy was two years of age then. They
moved in with Jim. A year later the municipal
Council had bought the house, it was on their land,
and had re-housed them on an institutional looking
housing estate. It had seemed quite tidy, not as bad
as some were, and it had attractive grounds and an
adventure playground where Mandy could safely
play, weather permitting. It also had all the
necessary shopping facilities. The flat was spacious
and most important of all, it was centrally heated. In
spite of all this they had missed having their own
house with their own back yard where Jim had
delighted in planting his own vegetables. They had
considered buying a new house but Jim had started
thinking of returning home to Jamaica. So the flat
had been seen as just temporary accommodation. It
was only a matter of time.
"Time, only a matter of time," she sighed.
"Time!" she shouted jumping up. "Good Lord I
am going to be late, I can't afford to lose this job."
She crammed her comb and cosmetics into her
bag, dragged on her boots, turned off all the lights
down stairs, dashed downstairs, dragged on her coat
and scarf, turned off the heating and the kitchen
light, and went out into the snowy world, securely
locking the front door behind her. Hurriedly, she
made her way to the bus stop. Although warmly
protected against the cold, she could feel Jack
Frost's icy fingers brushing against her cheeks.
Inside the still, warm flat, the cold letter lay
opened on the table.
It was 5.00 p.m. Darkness began to spread his
cloak over the land. His watch was longer during
Jack Frost's reign. The white world brought little
sunshine. There was no apparent balance in this
scheme of things.
Mrs. Greene and Mandy were in the bright
"Mandy finish your snack, do your homework and
then you can watch that show on the telly. Now
don't turn up the telly too loud, your father's
upstairs taking a nap before his supper, and make
sure all your home work is done and done properly.
You have to try your best, try your best."
Mandy looked questioningly at her mother. Her
mother had a very far away look, and she spoke in
that sad whispering voice she always used when
there was some trouble in the family. Like the time
Grandpa died and there was some gossip about
where he was and who he was with when he died. All
Mandy knew was that he was not with Grandma.
"You are coming to watch the show with me
tonight Mom?" she replied with expectation, also
hoping to cheer her.
"No, not tonight. I am not in the mood to watch
any stupid white people on telly. They don't have
any programmes on these days. I am just wasting
my hard earned money paying for the licence", she
Mandy, disappointed, continued eating. She
wondered what the Headmistress had said to her
mother today. Her fears of yesterday when the letter
arrived had been allayed. It was obvious that she
had not done anything wrong. Otherwise no
television, a spanking and straight to bed.
She finished eating and began washing the plate
and mug she was using. Her mother was still
preparing the supper. She was now peeling some
green bananas she had bought at the green grocer's,
on the way home.
'Funny how Dad likes to eat his Jamaican food
even though he has been in England for so many
years', she thought.
'Mom said she is going to cook some mackerel and
bananas, and we stopped at that smelly old fish shop
to buy the mackerel. I hate the smell in that place. I
always stay outside. Last week I went to Jane's
house and had to stay outside most of the time too.
"Yuk!" she said aloud.
"What?" her mother replied.
"Nothing", she said slightly startled.
"Wash the things quickly, you are wasting the
Mandy finished washing and went upstairs to her
room to do her home work. It was Maths. She took
her books, pen, pencil and eraser, and placed them on
the second-hand desk, bought last summer by her
mother. She began working.
'This is so easy', she thought.
'Why do these teachers keep giving me easy work
to do.' She heaved a sigh and sat gazing trying to
figure them out.
A small moth flew unnoticingly by. It flew up to
the ceiling attracted by the light. A larger moth was
at the edge of the yellow star-shaped lightshade.
Grudgingly defending its position, the larger moth
flew violently around the light preventing its smaller
cousin from basking in the captured light. The
smaller moth wisely did not pursue its present aim
but flew out the doorway to seek its own light.
She sighed again and returned to her work.
If ten men take twelve days to build a brick wall
seven feet long and six feet high, how long would it
take twenty men, working at the same pace?
"I am giving you exactly five minutes to work out
Exactly one minute passed. A chubby black hand
shot up in the air, eager fingers waving. Miss Pryde
looked up quickly from her desk on glancing the
quick movement in the front row. She glanced at her
watch and resumed her writing. The chubby hand
Four minutes later.
"Please stop working children".
She rose from her desk and walked slowly around
the class room, arms folded.
"Now Mary, what is your answer to that
A freckle-faced, ginger-haired girl quickly stood to
attention at her desk. She gingerly brushed her two
long plaits to the back of her head and straightened
"It would take twenty men, twenty-four days to
build the wall, Miss Pryde".
"No not quite Mary", she replied, sweetly smiling
at the child.
"Jane, what is your answer?"
Jane was still working away at the problem.
She looked up nervously.
"I ... I ... ha ... haven't q ... quite f ... finished M ...
Miss Pryde", she whispered. She always stammered
"Stand up girl!"
She fumbled with the chair as she stood.
"What did you say Jane?"
Jane began sobbing.
"Stop snivelling child and sit down!" she ordered.
Mandy's friend sat slowly while rubbing her eyes.
"Now does anyone think she has the correct
answer to the problem on the black-board?"
"I have Miss Pryde", Mandy replied, the chubby
hand shot up into the air once more.
"I have it too Miss" replied Margaret.
"Tell the class your answer Margaret." The blonde
curly-haired girl stood promptly.
"Six days, Miss Pryde", she beamed.
"Thank you very much Margaret. You may sit my
Margaret sat, still smiling and feeling very proud
of herself. She caught Mandy's angry stare and
haughtily turned away her head, flashing her pride
"Dumb blonde, dumb teacher", Mandy said to
herself. Anger swelled up inside her. It had happened
more than once. Today it was too much to bear. The
sight of her best friend stuttering and crying was too
much. Her own humiliation was bad enough. But of a
friend's! It was too much.
'Dumb blonde, dumb teacher', the voice inside her
The flood rose, the dam burst, she fled the room.
That was last Friday.
Tonight as with other nights the home work was
correctly and quickly done, and the school bag
packed for the following day. She decided against
watching television, remembering her mother's
anger. Instead she took down from a shelf a new
book she had bought when she went shopping with
her Mom last Saturday.
The door opened quietly, Mandy was asleep at her
desk. Mrs. Greene gently woke her and put her into
bed. After covering her with the blanket, she sat
gazing at Mandy. The bright, inquisitive eyes were
covered with sleep's heavy lids. Mrs. Greene noticed
how much Mandy looked like her father, the same
round face, and that mouth, it always seemed to be
smiling. A tear fell gently down her cheek. Her whole
life was centred around Mandy. She did not want her
to make the same mistakes and suffer the same
humiliation she had known so early in life. She had
seen that a good education and good companions
were the best ways for Mandy to avoid those pitfalls.
With Jim's help and sheer good luck, they
managed to enroll Mandy at St. George's, a private
school. Very few black children were enrolled there,
and those fortunate few were those who seemed to be
brilliant children, after a series of tests were given.
Mandy's outstanding abilities made her a student
there at an earlier age than is usually accepted. She
had been doing admirably. But, all was not well.
"I am afraid Mrs. Greene that we can no longer
accept your daughter as a student here at St.
A chill ran through Mrs. Greene's body.
"Why?" she protested. "Has she fallen off in her
Looking somewhat embarrassed the Headmistress
"No, her work has been fairly adequate so far. I
just feel that she would be more comfortable
"I do not understand. What do you mean by
"I mean she would feel more relaxed, more, ah,
more at home", the Headmistress replied trying to
force a smile. "I suppose I am not making my self
"No you are not", Mrs. Greene replied angrily.
"Well of late Mandy has been behaving rather
nervously in class."
"Really?" She has never mentioned it to me. She
always seemed quite happy at school. She seemed to
enjoy her lessons."
"An incident occurred last Friday during her
Arithmetic class. Miss Pryde complained that
Mandy became very upset, and ran out of the room
crying, because she was unable to answer a simple
'Mandy unable to answer a simple problem! This
does not sound right,' she thought.
"Did she mention the incident to you?"
"No she did not but if I remember correctly she
was unusually quiet last Friday. I asked her if she
was ill. She said she was well then she brightened up.
She is not the type of child to brood over anything
"I am genuinely sorry about what has happened.
To help you I have made some arrangements for her
to go to St. Patrick's school next term. I think that
would be the best place for her, or would you prefer
Mrs. Greene was too surprised and annoyed to
answer. She said she would prefer to think about it
and discuss it with her husband. With that she left
"St. Patrick's!" she thought. 'Everyone knew how
badly run and how ill-equipped the school was. It
had a high percentage of immigrant children, and no
aid at all was given to upgrade the school.'
She bent down and gently kissed her daughter's
"We will overcome this soon", she whispered
softly her soothing voice caressing the air.
His reign ended at last! The conquering orb
bathed the earth with her life giving warmth. The
earth rejoiced and celebrated in a mantle of green,
decorated with buttons and brooches exhibiting all
the colours of the rainbow. Birds sang praises to her
while building their nests.
The letter lay opened on the table. The red, white
and blue edged envelope lay beside it.
I hope everything is settled now. I can
understand why Mandy does not want to leave
England. After all she was born there, her friends are
there, and she has never been to Jamaica. I laughed
out loud when you told me that some of her white
friends said that we live in tree houses, and we have
to hunt for food and fight wild animals. Girl white
people ignorant for true. But then, when I think how
things are going out here, I have to change my mind.
They would seem to be right. Every week-end I have
to hunt for food, from one shop to another to try and
get some soap and other necessary things. If I do see
any there is always a crowd of people trying to get
some too, and then there is a fight to get the things.
Talk about wild animals! You should see people walk
over one another for one cake of soap, or a pack of
rice. My dear everything is so expensive. Cement is
so expensive we might soon have to live in tree house
But, no matter what happen I don't want to
migrate. Some of us have to stay and build up the
country, and I don't think I can live out the rest of
my days in a white country. I am an old woman. I
must feel free to live my life just as how I want to, do
what i want to and most important, worship where I
want to. After all how can I sing the Lord's song in a
I am so glad that Jim has got that job with a
company out here and that Mandy has been accepted
at that Prep. School here. With her good record, I
had no doubts that she would be accepted. Don't
worry about your not finding a job yet. When you
come you can try to sort that out.
I suppose by this you are all packed and the
shipping of your furniture has been done. I have
enough space for you to stay with me until Jim can
get a house. He is such a good man. I am pleased
that things have worked out for you in that
I am looking forward to seeing all of you,
especially Mandy. We both had a good time when I
came up there to England last summer.
The luggage was placed in the trunk of the black
taxi-cab. Mr. Greene sat in front with the driver.
Mandy sat, with a look of reconciliation, beside-her
mother on the back seat.
Mrs. Greene, tired from the last few weeks of
packing and preparation, took a last look at the
housing estate. The lower portion of the walls were
dirtied with graffiti. From one window a radio was
blaring out a popular song. She was too tired to
notice the sunlight and all the beauty of the
summer's day. Only the graffiti and the radio
'Nigger go home!'
'By the Rivers of Babylon where we sat down'.
'Throw the wogs in the bogs!'
'Oh the wicked carried us away into captivity,
requiring from us a song',
'Blacks out, go home, go home!'
'How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange
The taxi started off, it took her away from the
conversation, and soon she would be permanently
away from it.
She looked out the window again. She noticed a
bird taking off into the sky. She thought how free the
bird seemed to look. It could fly where it chose
without any fear of being hated by its fellows
because of the colour of its plumage. All the birds
seemed to her to be love birds.
'How beautiful it would be if we could all be love
birds' the tired brain thought.
The Love Bird took to the sky. Its orange and
white plumage glistening in the sunlight. It flew
them away from the cold conversation, towards
I IL I d a MIkiI I
Pamela Bowen is of Jamaican parentage and was schooled in
Britain, where she studied nursing and also practised as a
On her return to Jamaica in 1978, she worked as a writer for the
Jamaica Tourist Board, and produced this study during the year
1979. She returned to Britain in 1980 where she still resides.
Errol Lloyd is a Jamaican artist living in England.
He is now a well-recognised and respected artist
within the West Indian Immigrant community. He
went to England to study law,but after qualifying he
became dissatisfied within himself, and developed a
need to identify more closely with "all sorts" of our
people in that society. He felt that he could do this
through painting, and became a self-taught artist
who is now a painter,sculptor and illustrator. Among
.his many carvings,the busts of Bustamante,C.L.R.
James and Garfield Sobers, stand prominent. Lloyd
became more actively involved through his role as a
painter and illustrator for a West Indian publisher
for whom he illustrates book jackets, in particular
children's books, and he now functions as a total
artist who has staged numerous successful
exhibitions in London.
One of the problems faced by minority groups in
Britain, is that the white media, particularly radio
and television, do not cater to such groups. In an
attempt to combat this situation, West Indians
associate themselves with drama,music and dance
groups as well as various sections of the 'small black
media'. Black entertainers and their music make an
immediate appeal, but the Black visual arts are a
comparative rarity. As a result, the black person in
Britain has difficulty in acquiring prints and pictures
with which he identifies,and which he needs for the
purpose of enhancing his own personal atmosphere.
The images portrayed in Errol Lloyd's paintings
become a firm and logical projection of the subtle but
By Pamela Bowen
cruel racial pressures to which migrants are
subjected. Most of Lloyd's work is inspired by West
Indian culture, and projects his refusal to
compromise his vision of what directly affects
Britain's West Indian community. His carefully
chosen shades, styles and themes in oil paintings,
show a certain sensitivity which highlights the
collective trades and occupations of West Indians
living in Britain.
An important aspect of Lloyd's work is the
constant use of children to project some facet of
Caribbean culture, while giving impressions of the
search for identity within the British culture. This
interest in children embodies the artist's feeling of
hope in the new generation the "British Black".
The painting of "Nini" (oil on canvas),is perhaps the
most forceful of Lloyd's paintings of children. Nini is
a Black British child,but her skin reveals the dingy
grey which West Indians acquire after being in
Britain for a number of years. Her hair-style and
smile are of the Afro-Caribbean culture, and
although she is cut off from some of her cultural
needs, Ninit experiences the joys which are peculiar
to life in the West Indies. Her happy smiling face
and inner warmth manage to penetrate the cold
green and black background. This successfully
abstracts the dilemma of all black children born in
Britain, and indeed the entire black race. A halo of
vivid yellow depicts Caribbean sunshine,and there is
a definitive facial expression which symbolises pride
and confidence without which survival becomes
impossible in an environment such as grey Britain.
Lloyd further highlights Nini in his later
children's book Nini at Carnival. In this book Nini is
involved in the most joyful occasion for West
Indians in London each year. Here Lloyd indicates
the inter-racial attitudes present when West Indians
are made to conform to the traditional British way of
life. Nini is surrounded by images which represent a
British pantomime,with the reflections of Peter Pan,
Dick Whittington's Cat, the Harlequin; traditional
British party costumes; there are no traces of the
Bra' Anancy image which is typical of the literature
of the West Indies. Perhaps West Indians in Britain
have really forgotten their culture. There is no
sunshine,. The pictures and the scenery, although
vivid in colour, have to compete with a certain
snowninessbut the West Indian resilience breaks
through. From a socio-political point of view, the
Carnival is a treat to the British way of life; it
attempts to penetrate the cold, and slow down the
assimilation of foreign values and attitudes.
The story is based on Cinderella,and tells of Nini's
unhappiness because she has no costume to wear to
the Carnival. This is Lloyd's subtle way of showing
the misplacement of West Indians in that society.
They are indeed left out of the mainstream and are
forced to eke out a marginal existence. By chance,
Nini receives a costume from her fairy god-mother
who comes from the East with a piece of cloth of
Afro-Caribbean print,and wraps Nini perfectly. Nini
then becomes the Queen of the Carnival; she enjoys
the noise and excitement,not only of horns,whistles,
flutes and bells,which are all prominent parts of the
British pantomime,but of the drums as well,echoing
the spirit of the Caribbean Carnival. The absence of
the steel-band emphasises the 'foreignness' of Nini's
environment. Nevertheless Nini eventually becomes
the happiest person at the Carnival. The orderly lines
of revellers depict true British rigidity, and it is
Nini's costume and sunshine smile that helps to
preserve an element of 'Westindianness'. Lloyd's
innocent use of the carnival atmosphere and children,
underlines the dilemma of the British Blacks: they
are there to stay, and they wish to be seen as sett-
lers rather than immigrants,but who wish neverthe-
less to retain their Caribbean way of life.
The question arises how do West Indians see
themselves in the British society? The older
generation who left in the fifties have long since
acquiesced,so they have very little response to the
question of what the white man thinks of our
culture; but there is a vast gap along the line the
children of these people who now refuse to accept the
secondary role which is being handed down by
sections of that society. These young ones are
concerned about the attempt to "clean-sweep" them
into another culture; they make a definite bid to hold
on to something which represents their own roots,
and this they do best by ensuring that the most
instrumental aspects are retained the black music,
the black visual arts. But their confusion is evident,
and they are seen as complex elements causing
disturbance; they are labelled "problem children"
and are indeed lost for an identity in many cases.
Their efforts at promoting black culture is very often
thwarted by the fact that they have indeed been cut
off,the information they receive is second hand, and
they lack a real and mature frame of reference. They
adopt the Rastafarian image,but their accents betray
them. The visitor finds it hard to relate to this
dichotomy, but soon realises that it is only a
manifestation of fearfully deep conflicts. These
personal conflicts are catalysed by intense
parent-child conflicts, in which parents try to quench
the fire of the new breed, for fear that the youth will
further erode their chances for survival in Britain.
Lloyd's paintings speak eloquently for this new
breed; they negate convention is striving for a
continuum of black cultural awareness; an
awareness of a culture which has been ravished, a
culture with a beauty which is Afro-Caribbean. It is
significant that the paintings are not a response to
what the white British society thinks, of our culture.
They represent constructive criticism, which
although not restricted by ideology, takes into
account the service which criticism can offer, and the
The Oval Cricket Match
importance of a black nation's ideology to its
destiny. The message in most of these paintings is
for the progress of absolute black pride our culture
which should no longer hang onto another culture for
survival and growth, but must stand by itself.
It is easy to detect the moods and strengths of
paint and brush in the forcefulness with which Lloyd
communicates the topic of black identity: the
paintings are a representation of his peoples' nature,
a people who do not always have the strength of
mind to think for themselves when confronted with
problems, and who do not always have the courage
to bear the injustices of an alien society. Lloyd
attempts to focus upon and mirror honestly what he
sees.This is not thewindow-dressed picture which is
often officially conveyed by British society. The
images of laughter and tears reflect humanity
attempting to cope with emotional instability and
loss of identity. There is a deliberate avoidance of
British whiteness and cultural attitudes; the colours
are loud and vivid, and several scenes depict noise
and revelry. The warmth of the oil paintings, the
dress, the hair styles, the dreadlocks, the head-ties,
the gay Afro-Caribbean elements of Nini at Carnival
and "The Oval Cricket Match" attest to this.
We are made to understand and visualise the
'black purpose' through a study of Lloyd's most
celebrated pieces. "Mother and Child" (oil on
canvas). The warmth of the yellow patches on both
mother and child compete with the 'cold' white
patches and the deeper dark shades in a desperate
struggle to make or break the bond between 'mother
and child' this is an attempt to show the struggles
of conscious, young black mothers in their fight to
keep a black identity among their children. Even in
their nakedness the heat of the oil painting can
almost be felt, and succeeds in giving a vivid fiery
expression of the unlimited love that, makes the filial
bond, a bond which is essential in the alien society.
The mother and child are stripped of the
encumbrance of clothes, and we understand the
significance of this when we remember that clothing
as we know it, was imposed upon us by a foreign
culture. In their nakedness they can better feel the
warmth of their relationship. Lloyd epigraph's this
painting with words from "For a Son" Jamaican
Poet Mervyn Morris's The Pond.
Mother & Child
.......enjoined my love,
tying our lives as with the living cord.
Be strong my bond and my release
from time. Be tall, stretch separate; and know
the love you've nourished, though you may not care.
"The Lesson" here Lloyd catches the impact of
the Caribbean, in particular Jamaica. He does not
hesitate to give an impression of the loss of identity
through the direct way in which he places the black
child, dressed in Blue, sitting in a lonely white area,
with the colour above his head being red. Here is a
definite attempt to show the Red, White and Blue of
the British flag Lloyd's message is clear: the
sadness of a child who faces this situation a search
for an identity between Britain and Jamaica. The
words for this painting are taken from Civilisation
by Audvil King, and make a final plea: -
Cradle me in the arms of Communities,
and with my growth, see the increase
of natural harmonies.
Waiting (Courtesy Mrs. Vera Hyatt)
"Waiting" (oil on canvas), portrays the faces of
children, grey, patch white, and an almost shivering
coldbackground, yet the children are clad in summer
clothes, almost as if they are saying "Why are we
waiting and where do we belong?" the said
misplacement is so overt in these images, almost as
if some of them have turned to space for an answer.
Extracts from the words for this poem tell of Uncle
Time by Dennis Scott:
Uncle Time is a ole, ole man .....
All year long, 'im wash 'im foot in de sea,
......Uncle Time is a spider man, cunnin' an' cool,
......Me Uncle Time smile black as sorrow;
'im voice sof' as bamboo leaf.
These words in creole, take these children on a
unique trip to the Caribbean with Uncle Time no
longer do they need to express the 'why are we
waiting' look Uncle Time will tell.
In Lloyd's exhibition of paintings and drawings
held in London at the Jamaican High Commission in
1978, his most celebrated pieces once again took full
credit from all angles. The exhibition spanned from
'Nini' popular child, to the 'The Old Lady -
Sundown', Lloyd takes us from birth to old age, and
he highlights the processes with carefully chosen
images and shapes, which move in vivid colours and
portray the essence of the West Indian Immigrant
community in all paintings and drawings. Among
the many pieces exhibited was 'Self-Portrait'
showing a very stern facial expression indicating
the seriousness with which he regards his mission.
'Lady with Head Tie' once again Lloyd uses the
brush to define something uniquely West Indian. It
does not project a metropolitan influence, the colours
are vibrant, and its wearer has a proud black face.
Lloyd's paintings expose a dual concern; they are
persistent in diverting attention away from the
British and toward the Caribbean; yet their
meanings rely heavily on an awareness of the
, *.. ,
The Old Lady
thi~e~p~, 5 3
.~- ...- c
synthesis between British and West Indian cultures.
It is this fusion, which without the continued
injection of West Indian colour and warmth, will
produce physically, socially, emotionally, and
mentally grey individuals. Perceptive interpretation
of this art could be relevant to the various
investigations of concepts such as racial freedom,
equality, and power. They define the process of
acculturation by raising questions concerning the
meaning of social, economic, and political stability of
West Indians in Britain.
Lloyd's innocent use of children and the Carnival
emphasises the dilemma of the majority of West
Indians in Britain: there are those who see Carnival
as a threat to the British society; a disturbance of
the British way of life. Carnival attempts to
penetrate the cold, snowy culture, and to slow down
the assimilation of foreign values and attitudes.
West Indians are there to stay, and wish to be seen
as settlers rather than as Immigrants, who
nevertheless need as far as possible, to retain their
Caribbean vibrancy and creative environment.
By Marian Stewart
Marian Stewart was born in Jamaica and obtained the B.A. (Hons.)
from the University of the West Indies in 1977, and a Diploma in
Mass Communication with Distinction at the University of the West
She has been a Junior Research Fellow at the African Caribbean
Institute of Jamaica, Teacher of English and Literature at Merl Grove
High School, and is presently an Information Officer at the Agency
for Public Information.
Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930. His
background in painting developed from his early
years and was fostered by a strong and genuine
interest. There were three principal individuals who
determined the course of Walcott's artistic and
literary career. His father Warwick Walcott, was the
first crucial figure in his development. During the
senior Walcott's lifetime, he was instrumental in
forming a cultural club among their family friends,
promoting music and dramatic recitations. He had
established himself as an artist of professional
standards and revealed a similar but less developed
interest in poetry. His water colour paintings were
preserved in the family home and made a great
impression on the young Walcott. His old volumes
on art history introduced Walcott early to European
Warwick Walcott was also an influence on Harry
Simmons, who, in turn, developed and refined the
young.Walcott's artistic sensibilities. As a teenager,
he, along with Dunstan St. Omer and another close
friend, was invited by Simmons to study painting on
Saturday mornings at his studio. Simmons had
heard of St. Omer's artistic talents and Walcott's
poetic and painting skills and showed a genuine
interest in both.
The friendship between Walcott and St. Omer
flourished during this time. Both shared the
ambition to become painters. In particular, they
wished to concentrate on the local landscape and
people as subject matter for their work. But St.
Omer emerged the better painter of the two with a
vigorous and defiant style of his own while Walcott
realized his own skill at poetry. After leaving school,
St. Omer migrated to Curacao. He later returned to
St. Lucia and established himself as a painter.
After his graduation from high school, Walcott
embarked upon a period of intensive literary
activity. During this time, Harry Simmons
continued to encourage Walcott as he had done
previously with his painting by frequently granting
him the use of his studio. In 1950, Walcott was
awarded a Colonial Development and Welfare
Scholarship and left St. Lucia to study at the then
University College of the West Indies.
After a period of fifteen years, Walcott returned to
Trinidad where he now resides. By this time
Simmons had proceeded to withdraw back to the
hills and set up himself in a condition of near
isolation. With little support and encouragement
from the outside world, Simmons suffered a nervous
breakdown and his artistic impulse ceased
altogether. He committed suicide in 1966.
What makes the artist is the circumstance that in his youth he was
more deeply moved by the sight of works of art than by that of the
things which they portray. Malraux
Psychology of Art
(Quoted by Walcott as the epigraph to Another Life)
This study can only remain on a speculative and
tentative level, but it may be strengthened by
accurate examples I have found in Walcott's poetry
which I think confirm his artistic interest. These
indicate a preoccupation on Walcott's part which
manifests itself both on a direct level and
unconsciously. The quality of Walcott's writing is in
many instances so markedly visual that it is difficult
to overlook its artistic potential.
Walcott's poetry in the five texts examined in this
study is particularly rich in graphic resonances. The
artistic quality of his writing manifests itself in
poems of pointed visual impact while in other
instances, the mood and tone of the poetry re-creates
particular paintings ranging from a wide variety of
schools. There occurs often in his poetry a self
conscious process of creation where the art of writing
is highly visualised and enacted as a visible
step-by-step process of converting life into
The paper will be divided into six sections. In the
first four, the texts: In A Green Night, The
Castaway, The Gulf and Sea Grapes will be dealt
with as a whole. Another Life will be treated on its
own in a separate section. Section one deals with the
most recognizable aspect of the use of painting in
Walcott's poetry, where genres are openly
mentioned. In section two the theme of
'Art-and-Life' will be handled as it centres on the
tension between the work of art and the subject
represented. Within this section also the more
conscious act of writing poetry within an artistic
frame-work will be explored in terms of structure and
theme. In section three, the focus will be placed on
the technical elements intrinsic in painting: the use
of light, tone, colour and space which a number of the
poems display. Attempts will be made in section four
to examine particular poems taken from the four
texts which, in mood and theme, evoke particular
paintings. These parallels include a range of schools
of art, dating from the Renaissance to
Impressionism. The comparisons will be aided by the
inclusion of the relevant prints.
There may be some instances of overlapping
between the four sections. Occasionally, the style
and quality of a particular painter will emerge in a
poem even where the painter is not mentioned. In
addition, some poems bear several visual qualities
and so one poem may be used in more than one
Another Life is best handled on its own in section
five, as the use of painting in this work is especially
pronounced. Its biographical quality focuses on
Walcott's background in painting in an intimate and
detailed manner. It explores most thoroughly his
transition from his early desire to paint to a more
profound dedication to literature.
The Literal Framework
The artistic frame of reference is first established
by direct allusions to particular painters within a
variety of genres and places the aspect of painting on
an immediate and descriptive level. The first three
texts: In A Green Night, The Castaway and The
Gulf all display this quality of artistic reference.
The Northern Renaissance is evoked in the poem
"The Polish Rider" (In A Green Night) which is also
the title of a painting by Rembrandt. The poem
however refers back even further as it focuses on all
the elements of an earlier engraving by Albrecht
Durer. An allusion is made to the Italian Baroque of
the early 17th century in the poem "Che" (The Gulf).
The direct mention of Caravaggio serves to heighten
the prophetic, symbolic quality of the poem which
finds its parallel in Caravaggio's painting.
Both Jan Vermeer and Jean Simeon Chardin, two
masters of the Dutch and French Baroque
respectively, are included in "A Map of Europe"
(The Castaway). The tone of the poem pinpoints the
quality of their particular works. Canaletto and
Leonardo Da Vinci are used in the poem also as a
means of emphasizing the natural settings which are
seen within the context of their painting style.
The references move forward to include
Neo-Classical art. In "Roots" (In A Green Night),
the ruins of the fort at Vigie appear to resemble those
portrayed in the works of Nicolas Poussin and
Giovanni Bellini, both of whom bore a profound
allegiance to antiquity which manifested itself in
their paintings. The scope is extended further to
Impressionistic Art. In "To A Painter in England",
(In A Green Night) the memory of the islands for
Simmons is likened to a similar yearning in Paul
Gaugin who settled in Tahiti for the later years of his
The fact that Walcott mentions painting directly
does not mean that he is necessarily interested in it.
Thus there is the need to go deeper into his poetry to
prove the interest which I think exists there.
Inherent in Walcott's poetry is a strong graphic
pattern which uses the literal level as a starting point
from which varied features are seen to arise.
Art in Relation to Life
This section may be best divided into two areas:
the first will attempt to treat poems which bear a
marked visual quality in terms of their structure and
theme. The second focuses more particularly on one
In A Green Night and Sea Grapes are rich with
this visual element. The poem "Simply Passing
Through" (In A Green Night) introduces the device
of a frame through which the outside scene is viewed.
There is a vision presented of the countryside as a
painting framed by the train window:
Travelling through countries framed in glass,
And as in any gallery ....
A reference is made to an actual framed painting and
the two levels upon which the poem operates are held
loosely together: that of the immediate view of the
passing landscape and the impression it conveys of a
fixed work of art:
Time, hurtling on, holds nature in a glaze,
Fleeting, yet so proportionately caught
That every frame outdistances its thought;
The mention of "glaze" is pertinent here as it could
refer to the glass of the train window which prevents
any contact with the outside landscape by setting up
an invisible barrier. Similarly, the "glaze" is a
transparent film used to preserve the canvas after a
painting is completed.
The idea linking both levels centres on one's
efforts to momentarily "fix" time. But the motion of
the train is particularly effective as this attempt at
preservation is rendered impossible by the physical
actuality of movement. Thus there is a paradox
emerging: the idea of time in motion and the idea of
fixing the natural scene within the frame of the
window. Towards the end of the poem, the stress on
movement takes over completely:
That fields of flowers singing to a wood,
Those forms unravelling as on a reel,
"Over Colorado" (Sea Grapes) extends the
window frame image to a wide, aerial perspective.
The vastness of the landscape is stressed, reinforcing
the silence and anonymity of the scene:
I saw, like ants, a staggering file
of Indians enter a cloud's beard;
The view has become fixed and immortalised unlike
the earlier immediate experience as it has been
preserved in the memory:
That was years ago,
in a jet crossing to Los Angeles,
I don't know why it comes now,
"Sunday Lemons" (Sea Grapes) shifts the
viewpoint from the frame image to another technical
and very interesting level. The poem corresponds
accurately with a "still-life" study. There is a direct
reference to "still-life" in the third stanza:
your inflexible light
bounce off the shields of apples
but this quality is established in the first stanza
where a link is made between the growing fruit and
their decorative function:
tight, in your bowl of earth,
The features of light, colour and taste enrich the fruit
and they begin to bear an illuminative quality:
let a lemon glare
be all your armour ....
your lamps be the last to go.
In the fourth stanza, a contrast is set up between the
bowl of fruit and the silent woman, who, for the
moment, is dimly realized. The quality of the poem
evoking that of a painting is strengthened where a
"zooming in" process appears to take place, giving
both the poem and the scene it describes a sense of
on this polished table
Moreover, the bowl of lemons appears to be in the
direct foreground with the woman obscured in the
.... the evening that blurs
the form of this woman lying,
A contrast is made between the poem's two main
elements by the suggestion of eternity and distance
bowl, still life, but a life
beyond tears or the gaieties
which differs from the mortality of the dim woman.
The poem ends with the reassertion of light and
colour, bringing the poem back to the foreground: "a
lemon, a flameless lamp."
The linear structure of Section II of "Saints
Lucie" (Sea Grapes) is of visual interest and
meaning. The mountain setting is highlighted by the
lineation, by which the lines are arranged steeply on
the page, reinforcing the suggestion of the angular,
hilly nature of the countryside:
in the mountain huts ....
the black night bending
cups in its hard palms
cool thin water
Further on, the description of a mountain stream is
particularly effective as again the lineation conveys
the quality of the stream tumbling over steep rocks:
by the road in the mountains;
down the steps.
The sixth stanza bears a similar texture to that of
"Sunday Lemons". In describing the mountain
scene, the language is exact and concretises the view
by adding a strong sense of depth and distance. The
.... in the shade
of the breadfruit bent over
the lip of the valley,
is in the immediate foreground. The "green slopes of
cocoa" appear to occupy the middle distance of the
scene. The far distance of the "lost valleys" is
emphasized by their hazy "blue-green colour" and
establishes a strong sense of space between the
woman and the horizon where the cane fields are
The 'Art-and-Life' motif becomes prominent in
"The Gulf" (The Gulf). Here the image of the
window frame is given additional significance as an
attempt is made to understand the process of art
itself. Again the landscape is seen within the frame
of an aircraft window: "The cold glass darkens." But
there is the suggestion that reality will continue to
elude the artist as art can merely mirror reality but
never capture it:
All styles yearn to be plain
In "Exile", (The Gulf) the process of writing is
explored in detail and gives new dimension to the
interrelationship of Art and Life. In stanza four,
writing becomes a self-conscious act of creation. A
link is made between memory, that is the visual
picture of Trinidad in Walcott's mind, and the art of
writing. Thus, memory becomes a type of inner life
and the writing art. Furthermore, the process of
writing poetry is seen within a marked configurative
And earth began to look
as you remembered her,
The medium here is metaphor rather than paint:
a world began to pass
through your pen's eyes,
between bet grasses and one word
for the bent rice.
There is an immediacy and freshness in the quality of
the writing here, as if the poem is proceeding in an
unplanned, spontaneous manner, similar to the
nature of a sketch. Art and Life become intermingled
here where the visible scene in Walcott's mind is
captured in language:
an ochre trace
of flags and carat huts opens
at Chapter one.
He establishes a direct correspondence between
painting and writing:
the bullock's strenuous ease is mirrored
in a dear page of prose,
There is a sense of concentration which indicates the
necessary selectivity which the art of writing entails:
invisibly your ink nourishes
leaf after leaf the furrowed villages
The language here is compressed as the scene of the
villages is compared with the image of the book leaf,
suggesting a similar compression of visual detail
within the confines of a page.
This Art and Life motif is brought to a high point
in "For the Altar Piece of the Roseau Valley Church"
(Sea Grapes). St. Omer's fresco localises the religious
theme to make the altar-piece a microcosm of local
life while at the same time, it gives a reflective
resonance to the actual subjects it portrays:
and the massive altar-piece;
like a dull mirror, life
Within the fresco, time has become fixed and the
outer living reality of "men, women, ditches,
revolving fields" is immortalised within it:
Two earth-brown labourers
dance the botay in it,
Here there emerges a victory of Art over Life. The
poem continually shifts from the fresco to explore
the activity of the subjects it portrays, made more
concrete by the local quality of the work. But it
becomes a triumphant statement for the artist as the
altar-piece transcends the barriers of the
Art-and-Life conflict. The work is no longer an
imitation of life but an object held in reverence by
the living onlookers:
But nothing can break that silence,
Which comes from the depth of the world ....
it comes from the wall of the altar-piece.
The Technical Aspects
The use of light, colour, tone and a sense of
perspective are apparent in the four texts. In most
cases, all these features are incorporated within each
of the poems, giving them a strong visual unity. The
use of space which was evident in "Saints-Lucie" in
the preceding section is extended here. A panoramic
scope and distance becomes a dominant quality in
some poems. In "Choc Bay", (In A Green Night) a
hawk is used to give a sense of vastness and mobility
to the poem:
In the heaven's eye climbs, the hawk
Over the falling town,
From a vision of the sky, the range is widened to a
view of the ocean, and the nearby reef:
.... the toilers
Hurl their nets from the reef,
The reader's perspective is further deepened where it
focuses on an even more distant object:
And look a diver from the bluff
Splashes the water!
The scene set here is enriched by a progressive
movement inward where the seascape is established
in the mind's eye. The immediate foreground and
distant background are presented in turn and the
bird's flight gives an added largeness by including
the wide expanse of sky. Walcott's personal
association with the bird's flight adds to the spatial
Laying your coins on the beach,
I flew like the hawk above time's reach.
"Ohio Winter" (Sea Grapes) is particularly
interesting as it displays a concentration and
exactness which heighten its effectiveness. By
means of a somewhat conversational and casual
style, there is an economic presentation of the
vastness and cold of the Mid-West countryside. A
sense of expansiveness is conveyed in the lines:
This Winter is white as wheat
and width is its terror,
Apart from the alliterative emphasis, there is a
strong mood of the sound conveying the sense by
evoking the movement of wind. The journey motif
adds further to spiritual quality:
frost glazes the eyelid
of the windscreen,
and the gloomy resonance of the last two lines
reinforces the mood of solitude and separation. In
addition, there is an active, immediate process of
mobility and progression:
.... every barn or
farm-light goes lonelier, lonelier
In "Allegre", (In A Green Night) there is a unity of
light, colour, tone and space. From its opening, the
poem displays a refreshing, sparkling quality. The
sense of motion is introduced early and the four
features are inextricably bound up:
As these pigeons crossing the hill slopes,
Silver as they veer in sunlight and white
On the warm blue shadows of the range.
There is an immediacy to the poem which serves to
pronounce the stress on colour and light:
And the slopes of the forest this sunrise
Are thick with blue haze, as the colour
Of the woodsmoke
The tonal quality is evident here as a contrast is set
up between the sunrise and the shadow on the hills.
The sense of motion is also applicable to the sun as it
casts its light on the various objects within the scene
such as the sunwardd side of the shacks" and the
"hill slopes". There is an accompanying mood of
freshness and clarity as the viewpoint 'zooms in' to a
A morning for wild bees and briersmoke,
For hands cupped to boys' mouths,
A pronounced monochromatic quality is evident in
stanza one of "A Village Life" (The Castaway) where
the use of colour is reduced to a strict interplay of
black and white. This visual gloom emphasizes the
outer aridity of winter and the corresponding
isolation felt within:
Through the wide, grey loft windows,
I watched that winter morning, my first snow
This mood of sterility becomes associated with the
creative process itself where there is a clever union of
the literary and visual media:
a snowfall of torn poems piling up
heaped by a rhyming spade.
The outer chill becomes mirrored in a loss of
inspiration, the latter strengthened by the artistic
associations of the pile of paper with snow. The lack
of inspiration becomes a positive fact and the
monochromatic tone heightens the sense of boredom
"Goats and Monkeys" (The Castaway) explores
this tonal quality further by establishing a parallel
between the graphic effect and the thematic
significance. The dialectic structure of light and dark
reinforces the racial black-white conflict within the
poem. The mood of strong darkness and blinding
light is almost Rembrandt-esque in the gloom it
establishes: "The owl's torches gutter".
The racial contrast is conveyed strongly in the
visible juxtaposition of black and white:
His smoky hand has charred
that marble throat.
The Othello Desdemona conflict becomes further
.... Bent to her lips,
he is Africa, a vast sidling shadow
that halves your world with doubt.
The interaction of the two characters within the
poem is handled within a "light/dark" setting. The
presence of brooding darkness predominates, with
only sporadic instances of illumination: "That flame
extinct ...." There are repeated references to the
moon, "flare", "black", the racial clash resulting
from a union of black and white:
.... maid and malevolent Moor,
their immoral coupling still halves our world.
The visual tension of light and darkness throughout
gives the poem's racial tone an added solidity.
"Che" (The Gulf) shares a similar compressed
style with "Ohio Winter" but the unity of tone and
colour here bears a striking Baroque intensity. The
"corpse" and the "butcher's slab" are seen in terms
of a luminous light. The body on the slab, where
"butcher's" indicates his violent murder, adopts a
sacrificial, ethereal quality: "The corpse glows
candle-white on its cold altar ". The body on the
slab displays an unnerving similarity with the
Expressionist painting "The Carcass of Beef" by
Soutine which closely resembles a disembowelled
human body. But the mood is elevated by the
suggestion of heroism, classical grandeur and finally
stare till its waxen flesh begins to harden
to marble, to veined, Andean iron;
The luminosity is increased until it takes on a
spiritual quality, reminiscent of much early
religious painting particularly that of El Greco and
In the last two lines, there is a return to the actual
photograph of Che which has now been discarded.
Its destruction could conclude the poem on a
nihilistic note, corresponding with Che's death. But
the colour contrast persists to the end, here adopting
a deeper, apocalyptic quality and a promise of
immortality: "burnt in brown trash far from the
References are made to paintings both consciously
and by implication. Direct mention is made of the
Renaissance in "Choc Bay" (In A Green Night)
where, in the fourth stanza, Botticelli's "The Birth of
Venus" is introduced as a framework for the rest of
She drifts, she rides,
Mary, the sea-lost, Venus, the sea-born.
Botticelli The Birth of Venus .... CA 1485
The exact posture of Venus within the painting is
From the horn
Of the conch, pink as her flesh
The water in the painting is somewhat stylised with
its flat, scale-like ripples and bears a fixed, stagnant
quality: "For Venus dead in green water". The entire
painting displays a fragile, ethereal character with a
strong feeling that the subject matter is far removed
from the solidity of everyday life. Botticelli's
delicacy and translucent style are emphasized when
this mood is picked up in the poem which continues
.... windmourned, wave murmuring over daughter,
Who nets the mussels in goldwoven hair,
The poem becomes even more linked with the
painting as it refutes all the indulgence in heroic
myth which is as distant from reality as the style and
the subject of the painting is. It is the Virgin, rather
than Venus, who is revered by the humble fishermen
of St. Lucia and there is set up a strong identification
with the common people and a firm admiration for
Venus lives with aristocrats,
It is to the Virgin they give ear,
.... ever abiding
Mother of fishermen,
"Ruins of a Great House" (In A Green Night)
bears a marked similarity with the Dutch Baroque
landscape painter, Jacob Van Ruisdael's "The
Jewish Graveyard". The ruins in the painting's
background resemble those of:
.... the disjecta membra of this Great House,
Whose moth-like girls are mixed with candledust,
A mood of deepest gloom is created in the painting in
the combination of the ruins, the deserted
countryside, and the stream. Within the poem also is
a sense of waste and deadness:
Marble as Greece, like Faulkner's south in stone,
Deciduous beauty prospered and is gone;
Like the painting's graveyard motif, the poem
suggests the possibility of rotting and waste:
A spade below dead leaves will ring the bone
Of some dead animal or human thing
The ruins become symbolic of the decadence of the
colonial life-style. "The rot remains with us, the men
are gone." In both, the river becomes a key feature
by establishing a contrast as an active principle
within a passive setting.
The strong stress on light and colour which
characterises Baroque art is especially pertinent for
Walcott as this unified vision becomes a visible
feature of the way he integrates his material. In "A
Map of Europe" (The Castaway) the harmony and
serenity of Vermeer's "The Cook" is highlighted:
A broken loaf, ....
.... as in Chardin,
Or in beer bright Vermeer,
The stress on light within the poem is a predominant
feature and it literally radiates freshness:
The light creates its stillness. In its ring
The light in the painting permeates the entire room
and links all the seemingly mundane domestic
objects, highlighting the realism of their textures.
The mundane objects of the poem undergo a similar
A beer can's gilded rim gleams like
Vermeer The Kitchpn Maid UA IOU nfijKsmuseum,,.msreram
Both the painting and the poem share a reverence for
the household objects which Vermeer has so
accurately "fixed", giving them a quality of
authenticity within the painting "From which they
The transition to Romantic art emerges in "A
City's Death by Fire" (In A Green Night). The
bombastic quality of the fire is similar to the mood of
turbulence in Turner's "The Burning of the Houses
of Parliament". The panoramic nature of the scene is
intensified by the scope, bringing in the sky, clouds
and the wide expanse of sea. The active vigorous
element in the writing comes across in the painting
which is dominated by the central fire-motif:
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting,
The literal resonance of the "smoking sea",
extending the fire's range from land is given vivid
and concrete expression in the mirror techniques of
Whistler Old Battersea Bridge- Tate Gallery, Nocturne in Blue and Gold London 1877
the painting where the fire is reflected in the ocean,
heightening graphically its all-pervasive destructive-
The spontaneity of Impressionism becomes
apparent where Whistler's "Nocturne in Blue and
Silver, Old Battersea Bridge" becomes unconscious-
ly mirrored in "The Bridge" (Sea Grapes). Stanza
three reinforces the sense of fantasy, which is an
integral part of the painting. The "river's fairy
light" could describe accurately the river's treatment
in the painting. The impressionistic quality of the
writing corresponds to that of the painting. The
writing is somewhat fragmented with a loose
interplay between persona and object:
bridge is an empty party. A man a feather.
Within the painting also is a spatial distance
between the solitary figure and the others on the
Henri Rousseau The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897. The Museum of Modem Art, New York. (Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim)
bridge above. The painting's diffuse, blurred quality
may be reflected m the associative quality of the
writing: "The iron rainbow to the bright water
bending." The background of lighted buildings is
featured in both, giving depth and interest. The
translucency lends an air of immobility, apparent in
the painting's lone figure and the inertia of the
personae: "They stand like still beasts in a hunter's
The poem "Vigil in the Desert" (Sea Grapes) bears
a strange element of fantasy which is very much like
"The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henri Rousseau. The
mood of silence along with the sense of space and
solitude are evident in both. Depth in the painting is
engineered by the placement of the two figures in the
foreground as against the distant mountains. In the
poem "The desert dignities of silence" connote a
similar vastness. The mood and posture of the
hermit in the painting is reflected In "the gritted
smile" of the poem's subject. Both display an
ambivalence between the hermit and the treacherous
animals who both share "the dry peace of the
anchorite". It is not clear whether the lion in the
painting is a malevolent force or a symbol of the
harmony of discordant elements. Similarly, the
hyenas are a source of ambiguity:
While round and round and round
circle the evangelical hyenas.
5: Another Life
The distinguishing feature apparent in the auto-
biographical poem is the artistic frame of reference,
both visual and literary, within which Walcott
q kv '1*7c
operates. The features visible in the earlier poetry all
culminate here. The opening page introduces the
wide, panoramic viewpoint which characterises the
descriptions of Vigie:
the British fort
above the promontory, the sky
grew drunk with light.
Unique also is the fact that the first three stanzas are
re-creating the experience of drawing a sunset scene
where, "with a single stroke" he draws "a girl's
figure to the open door". The process of memory
upon which the narrative will hinge is crystallised in
the beautiful image of the present landscape having
becoming fixed in the mind "a landscape locked in
In the descriptions of Vigie, all the elements are
conveyed in the plural:
There, patriarchial banyans
brooded on a lagoon seasoned with dead leaves.
The sense of largeness is even more stressed by this
technique of an immediate sketch which cannot fit on
paper the wideness of the scene, suggesting a visual
and thematic greatness:
In its dimension the drawing could not trace
The sociological contours of the promontory;
The multiplicity of elements is extended to the view
of Castries Harbour in chapter five, where, with
great precision, Walcott presents a photographic
glimpse of the daily commercial activity of the
he would watch
the frieze of coal-black carriers ....
erect, repetitive as hieroglyphs
descending and ascending the steep ramps,
while "tally clerks, screeching, numbered and tagged
the loads". The later deterioration of Vigie is again
conveyed as a sweeping vision:
the mustard-yellow bungalows through the palms
were empty or dismantled ....
the runways cracked open like an idiot's smile.
In the final chapter, Walcott again returns to this
panoramic viewpoint and in so doing, unifies the
work with a harmonious resonance:
I looked from old verandahs at
verandahs, sails, the eternal summer sea.
This largeness of vision is extended to particular
elements crucial to the daily life of St. Lucia. The
journey of the Jewel emerges as a unifying
instrument in linking the island's villages as well as
expanding the reader's spatial perspective from the
town to the coastline. Like Vigie, the Jewel is of
crucial social significance as a ferry for peasant
produce, communication and missionary activity.
The description is not of one particular journey but
the epitome of all journeys. The treatment is
impressionistic in both the writing and the literal
images conveyed. There is not a direct experience
given of a journey on sea but rather an investigation
is made of the passing coastline. This conveys the
effect of movement with lyrical accuracy. The
journey is made more authentic as the reader
envisages himself to be on the Jewel rather than on
land looking out at it. The passing coastline is
envisioned with an associative exactness:
yet the yellow coast uncoiling past her prow
like new rope from a bollard never lost interest.
The vessel's age and dilapidated state is again seen
in an associative manner: "while rust bled from her
The priest's entry into the forest is particularly
impressionistic in the quality of the writing:
After a while we lost him to the dark green
ocean of the leaves, a white speck, a sail.
The description of the forest is visually exact and the
mention of "ocean of leaves" indicates a strong
colour focus. In addition, each leaf is seen as a
fragmented, independent unit, thus resembling for
example the brush strokes of Van Gogh and Cezanne
which coalesce when viewed from a distance. The
panoramic viewpoint is most skillfully concluded,
and with great precision in:
an island brittle
as a Lenten biscuit,
Here the entire outline of the island is compressed
within a single, microcosmic image.
With this expansiveness and precision comes a
richness and vitality of description. In Chapter Two,
the mundane domesticity of Walcott's home is
enlivened by the multiplicity of the domestic chores
where everything seems to be taking place at once,
evoking the sensations of smell and appetite:
the coffee grinder, grumbling,
ground its teeth,
waking at six.
His mother's illness is presented by an economical
combination of the pains of human cancer with
allusions to the physical decay of his house by
with their constellation of cancer,
the beams with their star-steed of lice,
The description of Harry Simons in Book Four is
exact and photographic:
Brown, balding, with a lacertilian
jut to his underlip
The gauntness of Dunstan St. Omer is manipulated
visually for the reader in the linear structure of
Chapter Eight and reinforced by the architectural
And like their house,
And the Gregoriases
were pious, arrogant men.
A consequence of this richness and concentration
is the tonal quality of the work. A continual stress on
light and its contrast with darkness operates
throughout. This emphasis on light is centred
around the images of the photographic bulb, the
flame and the moon. The bulb and the moon are
combined within a single image in Chapter One "like
a bulb the white moon's filaments wane" The poem
with twilight, when a glare
the coconut lances of the inlet,
establishing depth and scope by first, the tonal
shadows and multiplicity of images, giving the
narrative inner perspective. This tonal quality is
extended in the presentation of his memory as a
They have soaked too long in the basin of the mind
where the development of photographs must take
place in a dark room. Thus the contrast of darkness,
although not stated, is implied by the stress on light,
which bears an illuminative function. This
'development' process is later expanded:
that the black film of water kept the print
of their locked images
and finally unified:
dark water's lens had made the trees one wood
arranged to frame this pair.
The flames of the Castries fire are seen to rage at
night, providing illumination together with destruc-
They heard the century breaking in half.
Then, towards daybreak, rain
sprinkled the cinders.
The moon strengthens this tonal framework as being
a distinctly nocturnal phenomenon: "a moon
ballooned up from the Wireless Station O." The moon
comes to epitomise the process of memory for
Walcott and it is from this lunar perspective that
Vigie and the rest of Castries are viewed:
baring the ovals of toothless facades.
Walcott combines in the narrative an extensive
range of references to schools of painting. His
boyhood religious feelings are idealised within the
framework of early Renaissance frescoes:
who floated in the vaults of Michelangelo
of sienna and gold leaf,
The elongation and austerity of the Gothic are
localised and personalised with reference to
Gregorias: "A gaunt, gabled house" where
Longitudinal window seems
a vertical sarcophagus
The references to the Baroque, and in particular
the Dutch school in "your back, bent at its tasks, in
the blue kitchen," is especially pertinent here. The
unified way of seeing, incorporating both light and
colour, characteristic of Baroque art underlines
Walcott's unification of his material in Another Life.
Anna's posture here may be likened to that of many
of the figures of Vermeer and Chardin, his French
counterpart. There is a sense of space and a graphic
feeding the farm's chickens,
against a fantasy of birches,
The birches serve as a backdrop of interlocking lines
just as the use of black and white tiles are a common
feature of Vermeer's paintings, in particular "The
Letter". The lines convey a mood of tranquility and
peace similar to the harmony to be found in Vermeer.
Anna bears a sense of timelessness despite her
physical actions "pulling down the clouds from the
thrumming clothes lines". This resembles the
relaxed, easy manner in which the two figures
interact in "The Letter". Anna's movements display
an awareness for spatial order "you are bending over
a cabbage garden" prominent in both Vermeer and
Chardin. The setting here is decidedly rural,
concluding the thematic similarities with the two
painters who maintained the use of peasant subject
The eccentricities of the later Impressionists:
"Van Gogh's shadow rippling" are likened to
Walcott's debauchery with St. Omer as a companion.
There is an interplay between the quality of the
Impressionists' style and the nature of Walcott's
experience with St. Omer. The painting style of Van
Gogh and Cezanne displays a vigorous "rippling ...
grinding" texture, both active and dynamic with a
type of pulsating life contained within each
disconnected brush stroke. Gregorias' "painting
under water, roaring and spewing spray", is an
almost living translation of this style.
The views of the Castries Fire may be likened to
many of Turner's seascapes. This Romantic
reference also includes the descriptions of the St.
Lucia countryside, resembling the vastness of
Constable's landscapes to which Walcott makes a
remember "The Hay Wain" ....
the marble-coloured horse
and the charnel harvest-cart
It is Walcott's failure as a painter that results in
his final dedication to literature. In an instance
where he vividly recreates the sensations of painting
a picture, his own efforts are unsatisfactory:
Over your shoulder the landscape
frowns at its image.
The images of painting materials are numerous,
establishing a connection between the painting and
the life it attempts to portray:
ochre, sienna, their smoke
billows into blue cloud.
His efforts are inaccurate as "The mountain's
crouching back begins to ache". Consequently "the
mouth is sour with failure". Despite his discipline
and humility, the medium of paint is a hindrance as:
In every surface I sought
the paradoxical flash of an instant
in which every facet was caught
in a crystal of ambiguities,
Paint is thus limited as "one muscle in one thought"
while Walcott "lived in a different gift, its element
metaphor" with all the verbal flexibilities of poetry.
What is truly skilful in Walcott's technique here is
the unification of the artistic and literary as the
poem is seen as operating within the confines of
both. Thus the images of the artist's canvas and the
book co-exist throughout. It is fitting that the two
are joined, as one realizes in his writing that the two
cannot be separated. The book image is first
the pages of the sea
.... left open by an absent master
where the latter bears artistic connotations in
addition to Biblical allusions. It is in
a green book, laid
face downward, Moon,
that he first comes into contact with George
Campbell's poems and begins his own crucial
involvement with poetry. "Moon" and "sea" appear
to introduce the artistic viewpoint of the "green
book" as the ocean's surface. In addition, the "pages
of the sea" mentioned earlier bear a visual likeness to
waves breaking on a beach.
It is "In Craven's book" that he is first introduced
to art history. From the "red-jacketed Williamson's
"History of the British Empire", Walcott comes to
learn, not only of Imperial maritime conquests but of
St. Lucia's minute, insignificant place in the colonial
totality. He is made aware of Dante through his
contact with books on literature provided by Harry
Simmons and later idealises Anna within the
traditional literary and artistic framework. The
climatic death of Simmons is conveyed by a letter.
The actual moment of suicide is not described but is
confined to reported action, the letter being akin to a
single page of a book. Thus Rampanalges is glorified
by Walcott because it is bare and empty except for
"the historian deciphering, in invisible ink, its
patient slime", consisting of the empty pages upon
which the artist will create his own history.
Another Life brings Walcott's artistic considera-
tions to their fullest completion. As the earlier
discussion indicates, this element is not confined to
this work in particular but recurs in the earlier
poetry in a similar varied manner. Walcott's writing
has become an innovative fusion of visual effects and
verbal meaning. It is true, however, that all good
poetry .strives to be exact and evocative of the
experience it describes. But the texture of Walcott's
poetry displays self-conscious and often
unconscious awareness of the solidity of the visual
scene he envisages, which gives his work an added
This alliance of method and meaning raises the
question of whether Walcott has used one art: in this
case writing, as a means of understanding another:
the realm of painting. The experience of writing
which he so accurately recreates in "Exile" (The
Gulf) corresponds with the episode in Another Life
where he attempts to paint a picture. The experience
in the first instance is one of satisfaction, where
comfortably, the scene is compressed into words. In
the second attempt, Walcott s painting may have
been inaccurate but his skill in evoking the
experience verbally has as much conviction as the
earlier process of writing.
Walcott attempts to understand painting by way
of highly visual style and a sensitivity to the graphic
potential of writing. In this way he has reconciled the
Art-and-Life' dialectic which becomes elusive for
most creative people. Reality is the actuality of the
subject represented which continues to elude the
artist. Walcott has captured this actuality in his
It is Walcott's humility when presenting the
visual reality that makes this aspect of his work so
striking. In admitting his failure as a painter, he has
captured life by means of a "double-consciousness".
The method of writing and the living subject interact
in such a manner that we are convinced of the living
reality within the poetry as it is recreated verbally
line by line.
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Simon and Schuster, 1939.
Janson, H.W. with Dora Jane, History of Art, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.:
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Walcott, Derek, In a Green Night, London: Jonathan Cape Ltd.
The Castaway, London: Jonathan Cape Ltd.
The Gulf, New York: Farrar, Straus and Girooux.
Another Life, London: Jonathan Cape Ltd.
Sea Grapes, London: Jonathan Cape Ltd.
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The New Caribbean Man
(Carib House), U.S.A. October
La Educacion, No. 81, 1979
La Educacion, No. 82, April
Handsworth to Jamaica,
The Leopard (Heinemann
Educational Books Ltd) 31
Caribbean Folk Tales and
Publications Ltd.) London,
Danny Jones (Bogle-L'Ouver-
ture Publication Ltd.),
The River that Disappeared
ations Ltd.), London 1980
The following have supplied the National Library of
Jamaica with publications in exchange for JAMAICA
1. Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, 2. Institute of Commonwealth
Studies, University of London, 3. University of Leeds, 4. IDRC,
Ottawa, 5. University of Puerto Rico, 6. Institute de Cultura
Hispanica Biblioteca, 7. National Library of Nigeria, 8. Editor
Hispanic American Periodicals Index, 9. Library of Congress, 10.
University of North Carolina, 11. University Microfilms, 12. The
British Library, 13. Eslcuela de Estudies, Hispana Americanes,
14. Institute of Caribbean Studies, Puerto Rico, 15. Casa de las
Americas, 16. Universidad Central Venezuela, 17. Belize Institute
of Social Research & Action, 18. American Bibliographical
Centre, 19. Habana, Universidad, 2p. Universidad de Oriente,.
Cuba, 21. Barbados Museum & Historical Society, 22. University
of Texas, Austin, 23. Afro-Caribbean Research Project, London.
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tlanderf non4ua l dit tntion. Mtr ,lodelR- ar-:t -
S seam is mea in oatpa of frngaigments off yolcam& roeli bsithu*
aa n ad 'toddliatend to be abuindant iiuhulmixitvolM
ty oi.t .a m,6tln staw, areas. ..
: i cosfa, howevt il re Unfortunaely a full understanding of th6 i 0of -
tiov ttipOnt trnlng @s the ore grade nodules has not yet been achieved Most '
: ,i reseans now favour;, genes$a by selective
.- :Is .. .t I pvided bby; hydrot a 4iita
r i:estt it thtai^extractoe en:ofietal.k frb~ 6 -
I waters by organisms ande transport totiw ea
: r i floor whee thDey are liberated into the bottln water
and insterttial waters of the sedh~lbt.; aso the
,_ -:..' I3 orgpnisma dissolve. The-amtals are then available to ,
S' ta4eps inc chenialreaetions in.tie, uppermost
lyr 6 ayras di6 entthc, gldingto tl usaptiau
.--- maiaseseB les.; : .- -
I: :L?' :, MssiEssl hoW -!b 4 -t.. n t-
'* Ma nodules lee solid t .att r
Sexploita i .tecaaolgi(g r6aktbrBagggh5s. w
Achieved not only i lifting the nodaulo thMig:i -
.s.Mdof atm r Coitaw hydraulic air suction, system or a se~olsd
continuous line bucket system, but also iin-i ,y"
_ld currentlyy exploited the metals from the nodules. Much of the y
i -.pelarer dpositse. ': equipment has been designed, patented ~ ou.tpsd
a ,,tinsel shelf aas,, tested already.
otre channels. .
P p-m ~~~B~ J~JL.gl
g-;., PAW_ .- see- Mfewwwi
: : iia att.e Pat e t def hu --o f SA*Z00
'. Oly, int certain parts' of the deep ocean fl are
;' manganese nodules sufficiently abundant' to: form
;:;po tential .ordepeits. Peragi the most important
fiact orgoveflkg their distribution is the need for low
f of se-66ttion of laid-derived materialand
S: orgs~ ire ials rem thesurfie layer of the- eens,
Ss:that the concretionse ur gtwtoappreeiah.el siiae
: frithutbeingbtried. It i-s fe tim eason! that.they
Fik nloBst abundattin the enitral aeas of the oceans
:far rom land, and are best developed in the .central
S eifl~ c Ocean where mining company interest has
' foeussed pr oumtly to date: The presence -of inclei
.suitable for ifert ganeae oxide precipitation to
bgign -is .also as important factor in detepoining
Figure 2 Sources of Metals
The economics of manganese nodule minng its:till
uncertain. The hard data and facts are. a closely
guarded secret, and because there is no oinanrcial
exploitation at present, all estimates are highly
speculative. This uncertainty is partly the reult .of
the peculiar combination of the present pattern of
consumption. A large potential surplus of
manganese, nickel and cobalt is predicted although
cobalt is currently fetching a very high price. Once
deepsea mining gets started, even on a modest scale,
the price of some of these metals and output of their
present producers may fall sharply. Additional
complications arise from uncertainties about the
marketability of some of the products, particularly
manganese and the interchangeability and
joint-product nature of some of the metals
Decreases in the price of manganese, nickel and
cobalt would have serious implications to some
The desire among metropolitan countries to
harvest the mineral wealth of the ocean is
precipitated by the fact that:
a) manganese, copper, nickel and cobalt are
important industrial raw materials;
b) most of the metropolitan countries are deficient
in these metals and rely on imports for the bulk
of their requirements;
c) the metropolitan countries favour a
non-political source of supply which cannot
react in the OPEC-style cartel.
On the other hand, developing countries cannot
afford to remain passive because many of them are
large producers of copper, nickel, cobalt and
manganese. Some have newly discovered reserves of
these minerals and cannot afford to lose the
opportunity to develop them. With justification,
they fear that large-scale ocean mining may lead to a
loss of revenue, or potential revenue. While the
important principle of sharing in the revenue from
the exploitation of the "common heritage of
mankind" through the payment of a royalty to the
International Seabed Authority is attractive to the
developing countries, especially the. landlocked
nations, it is clear that in many instances the.net
income of the Enterprise, when shared, will not be
sufficient to compensate them; for the potential
export earnings they might forego as a result of the
introduction of deepsea mining.
In respect of the economic viability of
manganese nodule mining the greatest area of
uncertainty appears to concern capital costs.
Moreover, the extimation of revenues is a difficult
task, largely because of the leak of parallelism
between the composition of .tei nodules And the
demauad1atterf, for the mett (~ae~. I there
.ill not be a market at presetprics for the
metals in the nodules and estimated revenue c ¬
be calculated merely by totalling the value of the
individual metals per ton of nodule. Capital
requirements for an operation winning onemillion
tons of nodules per year are estimated to be
approximately US$200 million; annual operatingg
expenditures are approximately US$60 million;
gross revenue can be estimated at US$810-140
million: and net return on investment can be
estimated at between 10 and 25%. Although the
upper limits of the range of profitability do not seem
particularly high there are opportunities for
important economies of scale after initial operations
have been established.
The effects that manganese nodule. mining will
have on market prices for metals are also difficult to
estimate. It is felt that cobalt prices would be
affected first and most (up to 40% downwards in the
next ten years because of the relatively small size of
the market, and copper prices last and least, if at all,
because of its minor occurrence in the nodules as
compared to the large size of its market. Manganese
prices could drop by approximately 20% if the large
amount available could be marketed. Profitability of
nodule mining will be dependent to a large extent on
nickel production, the price of which may fqil by
10%. Using these figures, and assuming a growth
rate in world demand for cobalt, copper, manganese
and nickel of 5% per year, the annual export earnings
from producing developing countries from these
metal commodities in 1985-1988 could be
USS360-400 million lower than the normal projection
without deepsea mining. Royalties collected on gross
earnings would be insufficient to offset the revenue
losses of producing developing countries, unless
these countries have a substantial stake in the
deepsea mining operations of the Enterprise. Hence
there seems to be some justification to the fears of a
number of metal producing developing countries
that deepsea mining could disrupt their export
earnings. For this reason ,they are demanding
ceilings on output of sea-derivedmetals lined, for
example, to growth of world consumption.
Presently land sources of, copperi fiekel,
manganese and cobalt are sufficient -to -atisfy
demand. There is no body of data to suggest that a
cheaper source of these mineral from the.sea would
increase the economic well-being f the metpolitan
countries significantly in the short term, ne .that
even if this were so, the benefits of such
improvement would spill over in-t0 :the dev g:
pountriesm As a coneequeorie, ea opniot 4fhat
there .is no demonstroable i. y to iEs-tute
rrangements that are-e. a thaaracceptS o al
countries, and to the extenttt nt it is be,
equitable in design.
On the contrary, in the long term a complete
different perspective prevails. If no technologica
obstacles to large-scale nodule mining are
PLAN OF KINGSTON
- COLLEGE OF ART
SjNIVE RSIV hosP
- ~N. ER Svi OF T
DEEP SEA F nlNG
GWSlTIC ROAD rOR
ro HIGnHAV S1ArD
3RAETON NEW TOWN
... ".CO rFn IrCTIONI
EW TOWN (
.- . FORT CLARENCE PUBLIC BEACH
HAL F MOON BAY BEACH
TmYR EDISTORSBOh- BEACH
EMNDlILLS BAY BIACH
ENGINE HEAD BAY BEACH
..* FERR ROuTE .
"' KINGSTON HARBOUR FuIRE StE OF MMJAulc
SROA J- MARITIME TRAiING INSTITUTE
IYAL uI MARIM..'LAfl
NORMAN MALE INITERN4TIOrIAL AIRPORT
Below, the city of Kingston showing the re developed Kingston Wal
and the site proposed lor the International Seabed Authority
MAJOR NOTFL IDO aOOS I
JAMAICA GiFrEMEJ IFCITuFFION
PRIME ESIDENFrIAL AREA
PRI CIPAL IUPIIN BU ESINEIU6 M OEL
DIR,0,PAL IrOAF SNOtPIFIG RE.AA
*F INCIIAL ,F. IiTRIAL ZOLNE
COURTESY OF Urban Development Corporation
LAND FOR NEW RESORT RESORT HOTELS
DEVELOPMENT & APARTMENTS
PUBLIC BEACH -, -
1" MONTEGO BAY
PORT SITE PROPOSED FOR
TO OCHO RIOS
PLAN OF MONTEGO BAY
COURTESY OF Urban Development Corporation
. I' .
encountered, ocean minerals resources can offer
important cost advantages. Manganese nodules will
have a horizontal cost curve for a great many
decades (because grade does not deteriorate rapidly,
as resources are abundant and the mining ship is not
tied to one location) thus offering a distinct
advantage over the steeply rising cost curve of
landbased resources. Moreover, progress in
technology may find new uses for minerals derived
from nodules in excess of their projected
requirements and at prices lower than those for
land-based minerals4 For instance, if nickel could be
substituted for copper in some uses, or manganese
for steel, the relative importance of this new source
could change drastically. In that case, the deepsea
mining industry would become the major supplier, as
will as the largest source, of cobalt, nickel,
manganese, vanadium, and molybdenum. In that
case also, developing countries as consumers, could,
in the very long term, become beneficiaries of nodule
An important issue, still to be resolved in detail, is
the question of availability of ocean mining
technology and the way in which the technological
capability will become available to the Enterprise, in
which developing countries will be important
participants, or to the developing countries
themselves. There is not much scope for technology
transfer through the Enterprise if it is restricted to a
control function or participates in seabed mining
only by joint ventures 6
Some metropolitan countries, and in particular
their mining companies concerned, consider that any
non-voluntary transfer of technology would not be
justified and would be unfair to corporations or
groups which have invested considerable resources
in developing such technology. On the other nand,
the operations of the Enterprise will be severely
hindered if it wishes to engage in deepsea mining
itself and if the requisite operational techniques and
processes are not made available.
Technology in deepsea mining extends from
processes and techniques for geological studies and
assessment to techniques of extraction from the
seabed, beneficiation and processing, to transport-
ation and other related aspects. A number of mining
companies from metropolitan countries have entered
into consortia for deepsea exploration and
exploitation and, although no commercial ventures
have begun, the technological capability is available
to undertake commercial operations. The
technology, however, cannot be focused in terms of
a particular patented process of technique covering
the entire operation but an integrated package of
technological components from different sources put
together in a viable and commercial system. A large
part of this technology is unpatented and hence
differs from the traditional form of patented
technology,7 which governs most international
transactions. Nevertheless, a high degree of
concentration of technological capability has already
taken place which can effectively be denied to others
unless specifically provided for.
Research and development efforts in. deepsea
mining should be adequately compensated, whether
such technology is developed by individual
companies, consortia, or by other private or public
parties. The cost of such research and development
should be shared and equitably apportioned between
all companies involved in deepsea mining, including
the international Enterprise. Where a particular
process is developed by an entity other than the
mining group, the cost of such technology can be
paid for by the Enterprise or other private mining
companies engaged in this field. The question is not
that technology would not be paid for adequately, it
is whether a particular technological capability
would, or would not, be made available to the
Enterprise on equitable and comparable terms, or
whether it would be available only to private
companies and consortia .'
Mandatory technology transfer, as some would
advocate, is not new or novel. It is incorporated in
the patent laws of many countries, including Canada
and West Germany. Even where patent rights exist,
provision has been made for compulsory licencing,
and principles have been laid down for determining
the cost of the patented technology. Hence
compulsory licencing, if extended to deepsea mining,
would not be a major departure from the existing
pattern of technology licencing. The obligation to
share technology with the Enterprise should ideally
cover processing technology as well as that needed to
extract the metal. This is unlikely to occur under the
coming Law of the Sea.
The one alternative to compulsory transfer of
technology would be to ensure that the Enterprise
gains access to ocean mining technology as
developed at the time of its formation and is not
placed in a weak bargaining position for the
acquisition of such technology. To a large extent this
can be achieved by ensuring that early deepsea
mining projects (say for the first five years) would be
undertaken by private companies or consortia only
in joint venture arrangements with the Enterprise.
This arrangement would avail the Enterprise of
existing technological developments and once such a
Y lk, --------------
T o .!, iv.m
.4p j -
.1 A ll I.P
. . . . .
issue. n'in ddi&*a,, !itd Xan
countries jw rePeairce .m a a : i
worldwide understa -tg. &,f ithe
The decadebof thel i9OOMeea
initial Activity i. thades 4400iot
resourae.. to te zi.
roinipaton ivityx swflnt
Let us hope we fee t cl)iew f
positive attitude than t1f i~WRa r fa!
adoption of a Law of the Sea Treaty by that time. AU
the national:systems now.proposed are interim in
that they contemplate the ultimate adoption of a
Treaty. Some form of "grandfather" rights.will be
established :for mining ~ copaies acting under
national claims and it is predictable that some
balkaiceUll be struck bobweWnStheme m p liteand
developing countries in terms of management of the
u. ntE ationa& S-ebed. Authority,: The. -ch tr -of
present-day international negotiations indicate that
the- result will fall closer to the aspirations of the
developing countries and the New International
Economic Order, that some metropolitan countries
would prefer. It is also likely that when consensus is
., :ehed finally a joint venture form of miig
"i. atei wdiievi t iB~~e.. p.e and p-orm vat. or
,state'owSne4m anIe b tll.*ts for.at.
2. Krueer4LB., 1979, A cwqat. Twse of lau .
Pwo. cI the Wrier en "Ater.ativ-
Mining" Hawaii, Dec i 11: 4, lS8. Law of .e '
luatitute ,. ..
.T BB' ad Boan, V. 1971;' TliIS idKuisl '
thnde BfiicBconerxies; Ourfo9 Unireity rese pp .
5. UNCTAfr, January 8, 1976e Impctonh thmeot tAati -
Othp I .1bt iS o c th ei abni l.-I
baabei; letM98U7 if qi&aitiddaal DmMMflo)lin^
6. Wolfrtun, C.R., 1979, Tranufier. of Tcdntod gYf, tiii I
Worahop on "AltenatM in Deepqme Mining", Hna
Dec. &'.4. 1978. Law at ,he f Sbanseute.
7. Stigb.i.Kb, i79,;aB ,trinsAslW ln#* qqpmW i
"G ,-V* ","
'' ., .
".-. .I' L I
:- *' ~*--r-*-:"-"*-----
.E Cec4 iH~r was born in Jamaica, and educate at tme
'0wivaist Colidge of the Wgtnadle, a41kebe University of London
hDI).AMsr seM tfosrsen .yeaa *Pt-46mjin aamaian
fac tureg ciacern, he od t Univt of the
West Indies whe hee iasUow Pro-Vice CAumllor. He has researced
S'" Cambridge. 'Brktay. Hagrd, the UvtRahiy of Rome and tbe
*40ks !over Nudlear Lboortcries of Aiomlo Energy of Canada.
'roesr Lalor has pulblId very widely ik-iptarnatlUoal slcndfic
"'' ;rel and h*t served alpvral Ooveramntnt r dvU sor, bodies.
i a he ist gion.al EditfMW Rewi La noaomeicwa Quimica.
'Chanrman for the Committee on Peaceful Uses of the Atom, was a
me*ain of the JLry for the sit award of the Marcay Prize, and
; f tcetj Advisor to the DIrtor Generalof~ BSCO at UNCSTD.
1 = o *bvi es cint$*t tp worldwide growth is
paie cte shotag*of- of Cwlmchb is already very
expense Oi production is eSected to peak by
..bout. the year 2,000, after winch the amount
v:ailale wll dimish rapidly. Today's technology
isj extremely dependent on fossil fuels oil, natural
a: asad to a leser atent, coal. Within about 25
years, it is projected thatthe world will have to make
various transitions first perhaps, away from 'prime
oil aid natural gas to less accessible and 'dirtier'
fuels from coal,, oil shales, tar sands, but
eventuallyy to fuel peowes which are either renewable
or virtually infinite, i.e. solar and nuclear energy.
Most projections show a gap between estimated
mergy demands and likely supplies over a
considerable period of time. This makes it necessary
manage present resources so as to stretch out the
erod of thir availability while alternative sources
are developed and brought to the commercial stage.
If the supply/demuan igp is too large, and too long
in duration, world-wide chaos will result. Since the
time scale for the depletion ,f petroleum appears to
he of the order of that retired to introduce and
develop new larg,.scale technology, the situation is
This paper presents brief general overview of the
energy situation. Other papers on for example:
energy conservation; lca energy usage and
resources; and the applicability of alternative energy
sources immediately or in the near future, could do a
great deal to assist public thinking on these
important matters. It is hoped that oneresult of this
publication will be to encourage a series of more
specific papers from various authors dealing,
particularly with the local situation .
THE ENERGY CRISIS
Preset world consumption of energy is vast, some
70 x 10" kilowatt-hours. per year. To obtain some
idea of the magnitude of this amount, note that
production at te rate of 1012 watts of electriaty
would require one thotisand generating plants of
1,000 Megawatt capacity. Despite recent falls in the
rate of increase, energy conituiptioliworld-wide is
still growing as it must, to. cope with:,
a) increasing world population;
b) improvements in stadards of living, es-
pecially in the Third World Countries.
If energy cannot be found in the amounts required,
economic stagnation in the industrialized countries
will result.. But unless energy can be made available
at prices which the developing world can afford, the
majority of the world's inhabitants, the poor of the
Third World, have no future at all. This is the basis
of the "Energy Crisis".
The Energy Crisis is a complex international
problem which includes:
1) the very low per capital consumption in the
2) shortages of energy relative to projected
3) environmental damage.
Each of these is itself a major area complicated by
technological, political and human interactions. The
energy crsis can change the whole course of
civilization. It can wreak fivoc in the industrialsed
4- , : -S,
ow-.developed and the availability of large amounts
i: :" heap enery for agrklteut*e transport and
industry played a large role in their development.
* aite the .lower population; of the.industnialed
we-ld, more than eighty pIr ent of the woaid's
wold by some magic attained s
,of living f the United Stats over tast yearss,
this would mean ea increaseitn preset world eawtg
cn by a factor of over 100.
of living and per capital enery
consumption are related. The relationships are
subject to query and arfgments as regardsdetail,
butone has only to examie Figure I, to see thatth
correlation is rather close.
The eampls of unequal distribution, skews 4
Fig. I are at the root of the North/South Dialogue,
and are themselves a part of the B Crais.
Clearly any estimates of world energy needs Amuld
include consideration of increase in the energy use
of the poor.
SHORTAGES OF ENERGY RELATIVE TO
The non-renewable energy sources are fossil fuels
and nuclear fuels. The fossil fuels, laid down from
carbl es mnts material eons ago, werethe basis of the
tehnologcal revolution ad remain today major
sources-of energy. The pearewed fuelsda e aoitfd
natural gas, and coal (atd lgnite). Peat is widely
significant new findswe l be made, but tha jtwt
does not seem to be. su ient to martin tb
required levelss of demand Well into the 1s l taE
Even the discovery of several more fields as Ip.ge -
those in the North Sea, Alaska, and bm.=* qrtlj ,
Mexico, though very welcome, partlcularry- tr t*
ofnnteea involved, wiil..ot vety much affet e.
totatloog tarl irituAreforpetroe leat fuelkat-|aweat
ate of usage.
Ats .prs all the nienr ndustrialised cPaWM
c Canada and the Soviet Union, are
of o By 1986, it is expected that to .ypP.tfa.
USA, Europe and Japan with their needs, thi LB
countries would have to export 8040 million barrels
of oil per day. This rate of supply would exhaust 4a
the easily recoverable Arab oil in 20-80 year and by
1985 the USSR might also be a net importer of oil.
The OPEC -countries appreciate that thrik e4
resumes ien limited and argue that oil is weah ,at
the cost ebrig~,, it to market. but ofeleeis t
theragion of th& value of stbesitate fuels- prhap
.(US$30) per barrel. While this may not appear
unreasonable, already the present price of oil has
added a crushing burden to poorer countries which
Shave no petroleum and no doubt the price will
.continue to increase. Some nations have resources or
progammes which make them, at least in the short
term, reasonably optimistic. China and the USSR
Have large resources awaiting exploration; North
Sea-oil and gas should give Britaina breathing spell;
France's drive for nuclear power will no doubt reduce
-ts dependence-on oil; South Africa is converting its
coal- to synthetic fuels, Mexico has increased its
reserves by large new oil find, Venezuela and
Trinidad are well endowed with oil (Venezuela also
has resources of heavy oil); Brazil might be
reasonably secure because of its vast hydropower
potential, its drive for nuclear power and its gasohol
programme. But those countries with no petroleum
will soon experience even more difficult times.
Estimates of world's recoverable fossil fuel supply
are important but difficult to make. There is a great
deal of coal but the actual estimates vary widely. It
is particularly difficult to estimate petrleum
reserves since fluids tend to collect in pockets over
limited areas and at a wide range of depths. The
known reserves may well be much smaller than the
amounts yet to be discovered, but certainly, it is
becoming more and more expensive and difficult to
locate new oil and gas finds despite steadily
improving exploration techniques. It is sobering to
note that United States reserves of petroleum
peaked at 47 billion barrels in 1970and have declined
to the present 37 billion barrels level despite the
addition of 10 billion barrels from Prudhoe Bay,
Alaska. Some projections of prime fossil fuels are in
Table I. These assume recovery with 1970
TABLE I: Global reserves and depletion times for
Prime Fossil Fuels
(D.L. Klass, Chemtech. 161 (1974)
Depletion time Iyrs.l
Average projected for known for 5 a known
annual growth in reserves reserves
Fuel Known Reserves consumption
Coal 56 10 tons 11 III 5b0
Oil 455 x 10 barrels 3.9" 20 50
Gas I 14 x 10 cubic feet 4 7" 22 59
Based on the assumption that coal will be
used for fluid synthetic fuels.
Even if the estimates of known reserves are too
low, the last column of Table I shows that the
depletion time is not greatly extended. Nevertheless,
every decade by which -the transition period can be
extended will be of great value. Table 2 illustrates
the position in another way by comparing estimates
of energy use over the period 1960-2000 with the
estimated energy content of economically
recoverable -im fuels. These quantities appear
uncomfortably close, particularly considering the
relatively high probable errors in the estimate& and
the very low per capital consumption of the LDCs.
TABLE 2. A comparison of estimated cumulative
energy demand with estimated available energy
content of prime fuels.
Cumulative Energy 12
Demandfrom 1960-2000 : 350-700 (10 watt years)
840-1, 270 (10 watt years)
Tables 1 and 2 do not include estimates of the
enormous amounts of oil-like material present in the
oil shales and tar sands. The tar sands deposits in
Alberta alone contain some three hundred billion
barrels of oil. In the United States, there may be over
3,000 billion barrels of oil in shales containing 10-100
gallons of oil per ton, and various other heavy oil
deposits exist. But these vast potential supplies will
be won only with great effort and probably with
environmental damage, exercabated by the CO2
THE CARBON DIOXIDE PROBLEM
Carbon dioxide (CO') in the atmosphere is
maintained in equilibrium by various processes
which include combination with water by
photosynthesis to provide biomass, solution in the
oceans and precipitation into ocean sediments.
Fossil fuel burning adds large amounts (presently
about 20 x 10. tons per year) of CO 2to the
atmosphere and the amount is increasing by 3 -
4% per year. Since 1850: it is estimated that about
500 x 10 tons of CO2 have been added in this way, a
quantity not all that different from the total amount
(about 2,600 x 10 9 tens) in the atmosphere.
The principal risk of increased carbon dioxide
concentration is its effect on the earth's radiation
balance, the 'greenhouse effect'. The atmosphere
acts as a blanket to keep the-earth warm since it is
48% transparent for the incoming solar radiation,
but only 20% ranspaent to the infrared radiation
emitted from the Earth'.surface. It appears that for
each doubling of the CO2 concentration the
temperature will increase by 2 to 3 Coin the lower
Beale of he
ii) a t epected'cbokgiga economic and which convert
em aa e problems easla'tSaa wto are-
,i) t pob.em
ALTERNATr1E ENERGY SOURCES
he only presently available new large scale
rt'iiestgg N arftbera ergyv is obtainedfromW
*e e up of asntomei nuclei of two particular
I l e~ teeaxualat ad~~ htanlmaitfhtemaleaas of
so lge a mount of energy that if the atoms in a
uranium were undergo fission at the rate of only one
gram daily, the resulting power output would be
The only natural material suitable for use in
thermal reactors is uranium 235 which constitutes
only about. 0.7% of uranium as mineg. This natural
uraniun can be used in the CANDU reactors, but
others require isotopie merichment up to a few per
cent. Enrichment is an energy demand, process
which requires a great deal of capital and a
technology that is still restricted. Yet the burnup of
fuel in reactor fissile fpels is so low that less than 1%
of the amount of the uranium 235 present is used
up. Obviously the present fission reactor is most
inefficient in its use of a depletable resource. Using
today's fission technology with a greatly increased
nuclear programme, uranium resources could be
depleted at around the same time as petroleum
resources. The energy recoverable from the
estimated resources with this technology is some
3,000 x 10 9 kilowatt years. This is less than 10 times
the expected cumulative demand to 2,000, but it
could be increased by a factor of about 60 by use of
282 233 B
Th + n--> Th -
aoeart which &reirn
.gS.- ThYe e ~ chW 1..:
satawlalse to fisile pro icts,
N p 't ": ". 'i
2 .8 d ,i
ah. "2.3 days ,
', ,: .;'. .^ ;o
283 .B 2S
as. 27 days0
The raimaum-plutonium cycle is presently
faeurets Th.s is called the East breSedhr r
because fast orhighly energetic nati 'tart
involved: a uranirm-2A8ission-neuton it~oab ;
by a uranium-238 nucleus to give urminuaE
which, with a half-life3 of 24 minutes, emits a
beta-particle to give a synthetic element, neptnimn.
Neptunium-239 has a half-life period of 2.3 days. It
decays by beta emission to plutonium-289 (rader
power reactor conditions of higher burnup, much
plutonium-240 is also produced). Plutmnium is
readily fissioned by neutrons releasing vast amounts
of energy. The fast reactor requires a core which is
relatively rich in fissile material to keep the reaction
going, usually 15-50% of either U-235 or plutonium is
The Thorium-Uranium cycle should be very
attractive to those countries, e.g. India and Brazil;
which have large deposits of both uranium and
thorium. This cycle uses slow neutrons. Thorium-232
absorbs a thermal neutron' and converts to
thorium-233 which, with a half life period of 22
minutes, decays by beta emission to protoactinium,
again a beta emitter (half-life 27 days) and thence to
Uranium:233 which is fissile. Whichever cycle is
chosen, the effect is to convert a fertile material,
-~~~PEa~lY~I~Ua~P?%WiBOw .~r~tS1S~aP~;Y~!rJ~1Ilurs: :~a
year 2,000 wtb4hefastfeider e se tsatndard unit.
Frane .has .twenty s.ve s 900 e .reactor in
ovationon and -, east on- with fdur others
Sp aied& Anoher 1 t 10 MWeteaemtor are under
construction. In .11985 thiin ste clear power is
expected to beabout 36Oo MWe 0healso the
World's first leaa-comnm cinal breeder the 1,000
:' We Superphoenix under construction. The
United States has sonm 51,000 MWe -of nuclear
capacityy on line with one hundred reactors under
I. In several -foums the plea hasabeen mai that the
!1iduarisimi eonatries -boul4 .ean at ~ow use of
nuclear power to reduce the demand on petroleum
resources which would then be made more available
to the developing world. The construction of small
commercial reactors has also been urged.
Nuclear fusion, the 'burning' of hydrogen to form
heavier elements is another possible source of
haclear energy. If successfully developed, effectively
infinite amounts of relatively clean energy would be
available. Despite the very ro labatSry
result recently obtained, it is not po le predict
when the associated scientific and technological
problems will be solved. The demonstration of
scientific feasibility is hoped for by 1985 but it would
still be some decades before fusion could make a
Large scale contribution to energy, and.the plants are
Iceland, Italy, JPM. a Map ,Nw kbealadr .A
Salvador, the UlSa ;ra tj iSA 5 had ge`hihenaa
facilities in operation W under tiemstrU tion. A 80,
megawatt pwo plant .oaloeitmd kA El:.
Salvador pa Alutnhape s e 19M75 with a second
in 197 and a third planned for1979.
The economic size of ,Oeother al nergy recovery
units is up to about 50 MW and the capital costs a me,
about 500 (US) per instaellAkilewatt (1976), Te
cost of a :detailed geochQn l -cal and geophysical
survey for Jamaica may run to 8800,000 (US)" but
drilling may be 8400,000 per well and several dry
wells may be dug for each productive one.
Geothermal energy is a most attractive energy
source for countries with the necessary geothermal
RENEWABLE BNEBRY SOURCES
The reonwable .enewg s are the $Y
wihdrt-*skiad tida' power and ocean tepesaturea.
The energy output of the sun is almost
inconceivably large on any terrestrial scale, and even
the small proportion intercepted by the Earth Is
more than enough forall our energy needs. But the
esa rdeailtyis low eve in favoumble ocliateiland
Intermittent so that the problems of putting the
sun's energy to work on the large scale makes it
doubtful that solar energy will contribute greatly
Various tpes of cotietor,.have been designed
(i) Flat Plate Collectom these.blackened
surfaces absorb both direct and .scattered
radiation converting the energy into heat
which is removed by a suitable fluid .(e.g.
water or air) for use. Flat plate collectors are
usually operted in a fixed position at an
S lof evatio determined by the latitude
.fi- s itesolaorrdaDr bu4ladsuedm isalt
mnuriM actur by evaporation, or for fresh
waer. distillation are effectively horizontal
flat colectbrs. The flat plate is able to collect
diffused radiation but high temperatures
cannot be obtained. They are the preferred
collectors for simple applications of solar
energy such as. water heating and agricul-
(ii) The Focusing Collector this optically
designed device focuses direct radiation
onto a receiver, which is much smaller ,than
the collector. The resulting increase in
intensity at the focus can be very 'high
indeed, but in general the sun must be
tracked at least to some degree as the day
proceeds. High temperatures are possible,
for example, in solar furnaces which can
operate at well over 30000C,
(iii) Photovoltaic Collectors this third type of
collector converts sunlight directly to electri-
cal energy. It is based on: the photovoltaic
effect in certain sold state devices. Pheotvol-
taic cells are usually made of silicon or gall*
um arsenide. Direct conversion was first
developed to provide power for satellites or
spacecraft where expense is not a major
Direct Application of Solar Radiation
Theapplications of significant scale are presently
water and space heating; evaporation and
distlltion; and the drying of agricultural produce.
Theebsee e well past the development stages though
lower costs and improved efficiencies are still being
Water heating has been taken to full scale
development. The incoming radiation is absorbed in
a suitable collector and used to heat circulating
water which is stored in a tank. The sizeof collector .
and storage tank depend on the quantity and
temperature of hot water desired. The initial o:st s.:
still. somewhat of a problem, but use isrgraedg in .
homes, hotels, hospitals, laundries and in the food
This i angeiold agricutural tehnique. Open air
drying is slow and has several other disadvantages.
Even a simple drying enclosure with a flat plate
collector and with natural air circulation provides
improved process control and product quality.
Development work and field testing are being carried
out all over the world including the Caribbean, and
there is promise that solar drying will contribute to a
betterdutilsation of agricultural crops.
Solar stalls are now well developed. Small units for
laboratories, hospitals, etc. are readily designed.
Larger units for desalination of .brackish water or
sea water have potential but the water so produced is
still rather expensive. An interesting possibility
would be to usa waste heat from power stations to
contribute to the output of the stills.
Electricity from Solar Radiation
The programmes for solar electric generation are
classified as either:
(i) Thermal conversion; or
(ii) Direct conversion.
In these, sunlight falling on a large area is
focused on a boiler to raise steam which is utilised in
the normal way to generate electricity. Two basic
designs are developing In one, the receiver is placed
at the focus of Fresnellenses or a parabolic rflctor.
In the other design, the receiver is atop a high towe
and the sunlight is concentrated on it from an array
of plane mirrors that reflect direct radiation to it.
Each mirror is automatically adjusted to keep the
receiver in focus as the sun moves across the sky.
Solar thermal pilot plants have been constructed
and operated but. there remains the question of how
competitive solar electricity will be in view of the
necessity for energy storage (heat storage, the
pumrpinm of water up to a reservoir, etc.) to allow for
vauiabfly. of sunshine and to provide power at
In the tower design, about 10 square miles of land
area woumdbe needed. for a 100 megawatt plant. The
environe t tal effects of this type of utilization of
solar auwgy are expected to be small.
*~d ~ ~
otio.. 'runs. me achieved. Of all the solar
S i k i.~ "s'ai bweis.t he most advuaand -end
OtObvk 1 sut cona
OGeMTheiBead Conve .lon
M*A M0O g7% of solar Ediation incident on the
Earth fa- on te oceans. This. energy wanr the
Surfaie water i the trapic which then flow the
olar regions e is cooled and returned by
W1 000 Wn to complete an
Batoween th tropi4 of .OaAcer aainithe tropic of
ppeaoraa e te 00a1e0i arrlapst constant at
250 while at depths as shallow as 1000 meters the
water temperature is about 50C. The theemtical
efficiency of an engine working between these
em,.e is under 7%. and it would be a fair
.l .toA better in p.adtce. Yet the
Ocean thermal plants are not really new. Georges
Claude demonstrated a unit in Cuba in 1929, which
produced 22 KW of useful power with an overall
efficiency below 1%. In 1958 two larger units were
installed off the Ivory Coast by French engineers,
but various problems caused the lant to be
bandoedatera short while. In the Claude process
"hot" surface water is flash evaporated to give
vapour which turns a large slowly rotating
aexpai o tArbite. After m the turbine, the
vapourisondensed by use of cd water, brought to
tie surface from the depths by suction.
In another approach, the heat of the warm sea
water is transferred to a volatile working fluid. This
liquid boils and the resulting vapour, after expansion
through a turbine to produce electricity, is
condensed back to liquid, by use of the cold water
brought tothe.urface fromthe depths by suction, to
compete the cyele.
Land based,. ejuierged and floating plants are
. esA, /T,. plamn would be very large in sie
since gat quantities of sea water and the gases
esAng frm the deaeration of the water have to be
handed. Corrosion and biofouling problems may be
C studies are being caded out in the US,
FIGURE 2: A basic OTEC cycle is shown in
Europe, and Japan. A very smallplant (50 KW of
electricity) is now on station 7000 ft. off the
Northwest shore of Hawaii. This plant uses ammonia
as' the working fluid; it is anchored in 8500 .ft. of
water with a gross temperature difference of 209C.
The builders, Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. and
Dillingham Corporation, plan a six month. long
experimental programme after which the plant will
be donated to the State for further tests. Puszt Rico
is also pursuing a very active proramme of studies.
The range of projected capital costs for ocean
thermal plants is Idrge, from S200-$400 per W to
wel over USS2,000 per KW, so that obvousl much
more study is needed. The attractive-fuatm
(i) the sea is both collector and storage so power
is not affected.by the night-day.cycle.
(i) there are possible sites either la.1and or Wiot
far off-shore in the Caribbean islands.
(iii) the likely sizes. of plant output, say 10-15
MW are well-suited to smaller counties.
(iv) It may be p bleto sSet up Maetspurpowe
system wfikh wourd yield elektrc piwerW;
r opl~lnaaol)withawolea The steps by
I whip *e #t*Sulued re in bgxrqb4.
t a r ps1e w ich: bt ps ww -. -for i. i s-.-. .-. -r ....
. -. .,-wL .. .. . .
i'rYw. MI ;_ ..#i i --~ h, lg,,..
S:ot ui tsht i a ad -gs 4ave beewi tested as
mosr irels but inch miifirk s has been,done with
.o.-. 3 *aa ,- .the Uatter.
SU bw liste Vs1* Brasilian Gasehibal Poagmjtme
: Ag aanad An alI Brazi aims at 40% alchola.bstitution of gasoline
Fory.wa," Diwtime with ethqanl by )980 and 00%a ubstltution by 1990.
.Suar -me pl. taton -a, being -developed for
A l e SoH alcoholroduction only.,Swaoghq_ and cassava
6 wkry ld'b can be sed on in iddut the energy
B* balace-4s better with. Brazil's needs, some
I I -- a 16 101'res7tyear (4 g: S/allons/year), could
O I,=s be produced from 4 .4I fl nhectare (11 million
Sacred, about 3.9 timAs tbhe ld area of Jamaica).
t- The Bras lian eforti ly interesting and
Figure 8. Steps ln the convwari of ualigh to bd and a few other countries 'j th t&e United States are
cshemicel. beginning to pay more atea to gasohol. As the
Many plant materials are possible ener source; price of oil escalates theeseon~ ies of the process will
trees can provide between 10-20 'bs of dry organic btamei attr ative,but*1eenergy requirements
matter per acre per year and some types of.grasses at of the ditila*on .sta a.re high. Interesting
least double this. Cane, sweet sorghum, and cassava researcher are being elied out with the aim of
are already in use for energy production and productig dry alcoholl by more energy efficient
pineapple is a pdssibility. Water plants such as water processes.
hyacinths and kelp have very high-growth rates; one
species of green algae has been reported to.yield over Comarn of Ale with GMone
70 tons of dry organic matter per acre per year. Long term tests on over one million cars indicate
Agricultural, faostry. and urban wastes also have that with up to 20% alcohol no engine modification is
energy potential:. necessary. Appa en even.with 100% ethaol as.
.omsswy. ibel n.ery ia-svrl seehniqes, ,.fel oly ainor ia. Ai n-is ~ec essar heat
,e.g. I *cmieoat t coi -ntf of thaknl -6,4i ,t.Jift
and Aerobic t~ laSnl uae fu pre zc 10;,~~i ca for asolene,, but the higher. of
--nay be obtatB ~ ofl r_--;-e 'ethian .k Z oamwpared fth- 0.73) meas that t a tfel
example. tank of given volume will carry a significantly
Gsohol greater.ass of eth aollBO-mo tor is repar d to
GTasahol is a blend oftoelhyl lohol (itenthanol) be 18% more p@-a.ti wf-Ai running on eihaqL-t.tan
.. .. -- -- --- "+l ,- ;-i :-;: .-- - -- --: -, .. t .
s',J ~ H'l 1"
IndutrnR Process Hea
IBauxtee & Alumina
Sugar. Icemen Paper
eruoleum Wood. &
Produce Baguse Chemical H)dro Total `C
61.1 2212) 3Ai lm'3
76A" I i -! 02 41 4
O 430: 202
J IjlE6 hi
31,32 31 2I iii
19560 aIl) 22` 21260
4',. ~' *.
L i., ....7:7l ,, T .
m il ,s 111
S ;! ".- ; 7 1.' .1 -
: ~ -.. w ~ w' r
,al .., .
, 4p au "'
r"L Av1ipe ..
t ?aiay Plnd H.onomies
O 9. o
"Me co 5.8
--:MSNatones, World EnergyWSupplies 1971-
Uf sia uonsrwathon
,ne" sco nratioasn. thlea-esure way tore
.-t afbU., TPhia meaimt, st more ^.fieaBlhen
industry, in agriculture, as well as in hoi
coauere and transportation. It will also n
assessing energy iatnsive opeations to assess
value..' Despite. the I aportance of ene
coesiovation, to industrialise further, to impf
agriculture, and to raise the standard of l
particularly in the rural areas, more and more e
must be found. In agriculture, for example, the
no energy benefit from increasing the a
1 j Sjj d ag imutr fad.
..yese F kg 4%:per yl Espratnts could interest
160 devel countries can mAitar the.
tee1L. but the. inesC' t .n. m- a power i6
Jauadi oa tur no haFus 6l b of o n, Cod or ,:
9 1Jamaa hasn no taofoil oator
lignite suitable for oonm use. The present oil
exploration pIgramme it i mportnt and even
9.6 though many years would be requi-te to bring a find
on stream the of a mmeria
Discovery wouid the energy p jtre
8.1 completey. ~Ohr possible local resources are:
h dopowr, pat, and sMar.
The er potential of Jamaica is, ot. a,
but on our scale it is by no means iheigniffat The
3.1 Blue Mountain byiroprer scheme watch has been
under discussion afr y~qa could provide 90- We,
0.8 the equivalent of about WY. of the JPS geearted
power and as well water for Kingston. The cost of the
1975 scheme estimated at some US$400 million is high
but feasibility studies are continuing.
le.ini.U 'KE^^^ j^M~hvdra fo<^B~tettif :
The p~iential of miunb-dro is bsag asseged ,in
central and eastern J~iaiale
At this time peat appears to be the most hopeful
national energy resource. An accumqlation of lant
remains in varying states of decompsition, i
usually formed in swamps where the water bl
'at w~ 3se~a-- ,~.'. ~ s:. .d
-attwek by arobic bactera-on. the dead plants. This
slows th"e tte of deca, and allows much of the
carbon in the tellulose to be retained. This carbon is
mainly responsible for therfuel value of peat.
Peat is relatively easy to "dig out"; when airdried
the heatldg value can be as high as 50% of that of
coal; and it has a low sulphur content. But theme am
disadvantage too: peat contains up to 95% water
an. matbe died aJbsta.laey before itistirned;
it Is bulky and diffiedt to transport; and the
Shatvtstlng -ptation ma*. puduce en vironmental
damage, though this is debatable.
Two peat deposits in Jamaica, at Negril and in the
Black River ara are being. examined and some
smaller deposits exist. Fuller surveys of the quantity
of the resource are being done but it is estimated that
an 80Mw power station rould be operated for 80
years from the boh deposits. A 40 Mwpower station
operating frobm- tr e Pr lack RiPver
deposit 80% of the time would produce electricity
equivalent to 8.68 x 10 bagels of fuel oil which is
about 6% of the amount of commercial energy used
in 1973. Power from peat would save a considerable
amount of foreign exchange and provide local
employment. The questions to be answered include:
1) the economic viability;
2) the possible environmental effects;
3) the time scale to puAtte plant in place if all
Solar energy promises an abundance of lean
energy, but it seems that for many years to come it
can contribute little to total energy usage. It is
expected that the use of solar energy will gradually
increase and it may be a major energy source in the
next century. There are various poibilities: -
Diect Radiation Systems
Solar Thermal Conversion:
Heat frm the solar e* .y absorbed in a suitable
fluid and converted to eetcity by turbines. There
are no fundamental technical limitations to the
application of -solar thermal conversion systems.
Commercial viability is unlikely to be established
before the late 80's. The cost of a typical 100 MWe
STC plant under South Western US conditions was
estimated at 8735(US) per KWe (in 1973), i.e. some
$74 million dollars. Such a plant with storage to
cover about 6 hours without sunshine would be able
to operate about 14 hours per day on clear days.
Solar Water Heating and Air Conditioning
Solar water heating is a well established
technology. The installation of solar water heaters is
being encouraged for institutions as well as homes,
but the energy savings will probably be below 1% of
the energy presetlyusaedolesolar eatiestcan be
isedfor poese aeai.,
Solar air conditiig could provtidesia
daytime savings of ,l-rd t.. Thee .-set. ,
sufficient eperiet ow M t40cost
systems will be and, the a inmtaattoia l.e,,,
of great iaerest. .
TheW la gaw -at s nugag,^
adequate for we"d Oa.ver thde samit.c ae
and the. iio. iw^^,. a Frot ,
There is a longie lag nre- a .e .an ,t !ow
and their effects on esgy p Fr those.
reamos energy conserdsoewlavt al n eep ty
will be needed to maintain growth in
industrialhsed world d and to: srai th e ataodsd so
living of the poor. To previdt lhs eae seiwal
differenatenergy sourcersitvl be pa a if
duetatanon ft paid toMIlR w
thee nuclear gy Ad. ei':.
Energy may beo or a Q
and given time,. mnasgeept aida
luck the developed countries should able to make
the transition away from peeaeleum based fueleo
alternative energy sources.
For oil importing poor countries the chaices are
very much more severea~tit will talk a gidal f,
therscientific, a tedoloal an an
and bffoots- over the Bt wdeade
technical cooperation -with the
countries tomfet the cisms. Thaec -ri aP be
of mutual benefit because conditionsmy w my
that processes which are uneconomic at seme
particular size, say in the USA, may sMmhow tr in
It is now particularly important fir Jalaiti
examine all possible indgeneo s resources iamu g
solar energy and at this time peat and biomuas
probably deserve pririty treatment in teseaseh.
Equally important must be the development of a
range of skills rag from scineattte to
entrepreneurial to p toe he aeans for
and bringing the technologies to
utilisation. Despite a slow start there is fortuatlya .
gathering momentum to tackle energy problems in
Jamaica which will cause much greater emphasiato
be placed on obtaiing solutions to the energy
problems of the country.
1 454 grams It pound
2 Canadian reactors uilizing naiuial uranium and neavy water
3 Tre halt-life is Ihe lime taken lor half of the amount olesent at any time to be
4 A neutron whose kinetic energy is similar to that ol a gas molecule at the
5 K Gardner SunwOrld 3 ()i 2. 119791
6 C Star in 'Energy and Power" W H Freeman E Co 9
...... ..... .... .
d In ffl
4. l-: R
1l _. 4 -cZv n
Pertano(~v~e Io e rPo
14' 1f i : 'i.
ei4 kept. Ptwolwa
I ~o~yeP' povide b e*ops*
0~ldiR3 AtYUU8 found lbL J&MWWn 'AsbtonfeM'S
:wa. as b~be ius1 the time
i~otmcemeant Thiievideado-4or tbo*44 a -of Mels primedly in, .:
t~~~~r~~~n ~ U~ItW7 ThsiTotehi okki! '
s, o*y have eUfce inceased Ovidem6e *hi&h is the more;
"a l ly OW
AW iw3 b*
i.i~ds Mv i:p* : ee. .. '.. .4*
iip m'oney which night have gtme. into capital Wrai odlbfrmeAd pI1eog isi
jpvestment in othew areas of tk*.Jumvicaw econoiy- accuiuA444..in claVEW iaaiw' 1
a*dour economic situation has. bedmolm~ z~tasingy Ilwautone ro*ke -it l rmthe clays 0o
-'~-'Y te MeryanWOaPtion in-J"Amic should permieae racks by *~~e'nd mingmest
F." ese by aj~prxiftately 6% pertres -if 'growth under gravity uzitil I cimatsiatrpor
,ASve~ aftt be ib; Jaiut...cmaot~affbi4 such dsees-at-the Awfass,
.i b1~ausin, iMport p&ynWRa.bot~ Lwe". have to Inny pownti ef priovi(Ncemwe utkav.,
*Ve~p al oai al POWerloge Howevver, ,u-pto a!~
'I. k, -
~t~4- ~ . ~ 4~*~d ~'--~,,.i'A k~Z44 ~ Ub. 4 reii *d ~ '~,.4pj,1:;
-p '0 i l
r . ...
b. ttgr~apd It bank" aseetaid ~1as
znoift Jhl-tini soureeB of eaergy' Arep~w
lfocm.. I qua
lif rurejzyo upet
~ ~4~tt1R 4* fe~g futXeb
Auqpt* 1b ~ aSb4M
., ..... '. '... - -- ., ;: 'Pqo ; -. '_' .. .. .1 . t . . "--_v ... .. ._'..
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..i .. .... :: L-L -, .... ... L ; .,-. '. _. ..... 1. . .IV,, .' .. v- .- ' j F ..... __ tz g' ,' iX m ;'..'A - k
: '.4 ' A i I . '... V. - ';:,x '..'.' ' '. -' _r r ' ,; ' -!- .kA, 1W ., Ak' : . .:. Na t,-'&u 9 ...-..,. . A.- '- :I.
: 4 .--,I '. ' in ;. -0; . ; 4 g
kh , "4:'Z: ; a -'. oo' Zj-`J; %t, -_' -.',!. f '. ;e
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z 14" -_w t'' v -'i , ..g_
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t % 1;r'- -L "')O -.,4 _ -"..2 'F'j" xt?'' . _'. w. , .;.,.,
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t. -_- AO ,f M4 0tge -ii- .tfore .-
pi iably r oiloatt froi m lilatmal source .& and it e .ea willincteasigiy be used.a s.urce-i
undertakdei. n Jamaica with a high labour cost -olilcto1 r whiehstofs a..rge oiab .t 6
conenet. in topic regions such a Jamaica.,.I
arctic water flow. in.tfhthe oceasi de t t
W id adWoutern Jamica Hydro Power Project equatorlarea. This caa temperate dfere .
Ukhe Bthe Ipnts Mrils utltipwrposqeprjact, between; the warm' eur*tE water tad e
A ; ^ iS ucn iid-fnot he for. wat& wh can ha tO4 Paodce;;(emlvi .bp
UN tei Mtbft'tT Wut heanibncoe
Io t et in .197 indicated thit : hifo r -. .
see-roesn oaheu. rive, s -cdd become M,, a ly *, SEtiE ...o. .. -
feasible when the price of oil reached US6; Oil ':kilopwattsat was built bythe Fresali
pieces eached US$32 per barrel in 1980 but thwcost Claude t MaeanMe Bapl Oaba 192 a -
of c ontruction has also increased. The schemes are for a few: weeks before pgu its pldteipe h
Orew 'b ingas In an economic :4-se- by heavy seas. Clauses aototyp lan. o*ly
NO -A0e pteuni-oi ouits,are ai fo-lter quuiffled' snicess nc Bitiquinet dd
sc- .E t -1.
e Ri er 7, ..' .. .
"YS -River 2,610 2.1
S? io Buen .- 930 .
-. T "-- TOAL ..: 11,25 .
V wk At -la I
'.A "be of small hydroo VwerB "che"' : '" "-''
SGinger hive.bs d 4 .t
... Heri .tage Reservoir i 0 at.,o W
.. . .....
i RamNHl k T4G
M ) Ml rant, Rivr .(Srge Ibland' rWW) C proj.tdIM.td dfid.
Th Swedb-h Government.has provided a techItical processI really works, t intoo o off
Oftis rtto._ cov the foreign exehmn Vogt; a wafiT ivai0"erB 7
inle. of th:atu: l being executed by SWECO. ais de
The^^ns .idonpletioyMay &W81.
Mi- : hy. po:r whith d- s etit c, Cold wat. '
V ":.S .. dropewer nation from ion there ott a
-+.,-,' -, -, .
.: "., *treah s .wcan.u e used to provided ca'tlkxty po th neal pipv wos;ev al tho.usad feiiii
: iin iy d .ropwerto.-sdches which could be tiexiceally s m of iet
": i dc'"n'n"- '" ly fa operati o n ally-v.'l ',' _.la -. .II .IJUCd. Itsr-.lout--'nd56 "i
;, 4 n... and eemiooiEally feasible and operationally viable, p58t ] do eed; .J~c.,..r l- f.:
,;~~~~ ":'i ,r' ' ''" + ".1 -=:" -'-
'+ ~ i ,l'l ~ ,j . . .. '. ',;. '', !+'+ ;
.' ii ,.
-itr s~ia e~ltgy Suberating thelniewr usedc rtn be lanfibats jp-iii
tIa.plai,.the net auut was 12 'W a littlemore .boed Alq tb.
tAO pected; i. were no -noilsd opedtig .aiitlhntbfott
rbei~I~P, and modern OTEC. estractiotih., ofotie dt .
n syhwnu t4eechnicagly feat. Theext atep wlan-bnd td t
ije a J i_ Ei prokramme is i QOOdiKW version, would not suj ct i
Vig*ch is schelsNtWto gointo titoff lawi in risk from wawd-orwit
Oely 1981 undr lie ame:~E I. 1o fin c i
gfeawe OT; as with ogher eolar eawgy hethrti
ie, da not requbt fl for l ;ant
tie anajor cost p ntt Is-:for c sctd
irtiztio .. e capital l aes enmt. tftalzms
OW at %Wthe apiti ttB,
--to .ISnr k hth. M:- n
J 4tee.0t ecg' .. .
4i.-mi. w e .in .. .. -- -. gaOa ti
.. ... ;: .. .M,,
::o- I: .stbrl-ps::
mdr* thes-bq o
lA L LJ..L..4. &~;b~i:
km itp _d
coldd oterao e ra ,ln I
.-1 t: e. L
AREAS OF PETROLEUM
PRINCIPLE OF A
-- -- -- ~ -
A. WW~pt of~j4~.o o~i
Aieok$ 4 ulpin t4Prp"
.~~a .ma A .al .uh~ .b~ .~~ of I
~wMblni4 is 8p~fi
Pr p "t;:I
4~~ptinpriatar ioa exal PI:d4OI9~
idj 1 40!110 m
.. .. i -F-
turtse SD .0e'eve of p ~8~rie'in't
,~d~jen tiaA t* -would bi. ~it~. of .r~ r
sity', requirs aws1LT~ ~~eij~ view. 0 S:'a
.. b jo
im~i~priate AS* exM A& Watma 0104' aY~1~e~i~,:;;~e-;; ~ ~ aaa~~aa~~a I
... ij CAr 470y p V-
. . . . . . . .
M. _w 4
:I. YNT r'j
sl " -o
wo m -