April 28, 2008

"Su Su" by Velma Pollard

Velma PollardVelma Pollard was born in Jamaica in 1937, educated at Excelsior High School in Kingston and at the University College of the West Indies. She received an MA in Education from McGill University and an MA in the teaching of English from Columbia University. She taught in high schools and universities in Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana and the USA. Since 1975 she has taught at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Language Education and Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University of the West Indies.

Su Su

Susu su su Susu su su
among the yellow poui
you hear
I hear
leaves in the Japanese garden
'tiday fi mi tumaro fi yu'
like Brer Anancy talking in his nose
Susu su su

And how I laughed that day
I heard them say
'im shouldn bury there
im a go come back fi dem have no fear'
denying all the rural wisdom I had known. . .

Then quick and fast
some hidden hit man
strikes us off our anxious lists
and you
and I
stand open-mouthed
as poui leaves whisper just before they fall

tiday fi mi
tumaro fi you
Susu su su
Susu su su


--Courtesy of Peepal Tree Press

Throughout the month of April, National Poetry Month, poets from the Caribbean and South Florida will be featured on this blog.


Stephen A. Bess said...

It's a peculiar thing. I like most writing in dialect (especially Caribbean). The meaning doesn't always connect with me, but the words and formation are almost always like music to my ears.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Stephen, how are you?

I guess I should have also put a note that "su-su" is both rumor and the sound of the trees.

Bless up,

Stephen A. Bess said...

See, that's beautiful. I'm fine, brother. There's just something about spring.