Caribbean Literature 1900-1929
In the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica, during the year of 1900-1929 there were two poets whose work truly stood out and made a statement. Those poets were Thomas Redcam (1870-1933) and Claude McKay (1878-1972). Thomas Redcam was a Jamaican poet who came from Irish ancestry. Throughout his life he promoted Jamaican literature and was a notable poet. He was seen as helpful and encouragement to younger poets during that time period including Claude McKay. Both poets had such a love for their country and made it clear in their poems. They spoke about the beauty of Jamaica, how through thick and thin Jamaica would always be their heart and homeland. The themes of nature, faith, and love are very present within the six poems we read. In Thomas Redcam’s poem “My Beautiful Home” is where we first see the predominant themes of nature, faith, and love. In this poem he speaks of Jamaica in such vivid terms, making mention of the land only using words such as beautiful. He also speaks of how the beauty of his homeland is the main reason he loves his land. He speaks of this love as being like none other, a love that is strong and rooted in heart and faith. He makes the idea clear that even when not there his love will always be there and living strong “Whenever I wander, for thee my love is abiding and strong” (Redcam, 45). This idea for love of country and nature continues in his next poem “O’little Green Island. Far Over the Sea” In this poem he speaks of the English rule throughout Jamaica and how it affects the people in one aspect but not at all in the other. Not once does he speak negatively about England but rather Redcam glorifies and praises their rule, “For England is England, brave, patient, and true.” (Redcam, 46) He speaks of how no matter who is ruling they are themselves and their love will always be for their own land Jamaica, “But my little Green Island, far over the sea, At eve-tide Jamaica, my heart turns to thee.”...
Cited: Donnell, Alison, and Sarah Lawson Welsh. Routledge Reader in Caribbean Literature. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.
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