A Poem in Patois


“Mama, why did the pastor read that poem about a preacher named Uriah? Was he a real person?”

“I don’t know. It’s possible that Louise Bennett knew someone like that.”

“Did she write the poem?”


“Did she speak English?”

“Of course, she did. She was Jamaican.”

“Then, why couldn’t I understand a single word?”

“It was written in patois.”

“Patois? What’s that?”

“Patois is an English-based creole language spoken by many Jamaicans.”

“Why did the pastor read the poem?”

“He wanted to remember Louise Bennett today on her 103rd birthday.”

“Yikes! I wouldn’t want to be that old.”

99 Words

To read more about this phenomenal woman who delighted children for years, visit here.

This post is for the Friday’s Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. You can find this week’s prompt here. To read other stories or to participate, click here.

Sources: Wikipedia; Taylor & Francis Online

23 Replies to “A Poem in Patois”

  1. Thank you for the wonderful story and the educational side trip. You gave this this “‘Merican” a bit of a Jamacan lesson so now “Me got intelligency.” Thank you. I love that language and reading her poems is fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bill 🙂 I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed the story and were able to learn about this amazing woman. I was happy that I had the opportunity to mention her on what would have been her 103rd birthday. I’m sure she had fun reading her poems too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle,

      Thanks 🙂 I hadn’t thought of her in years until I see Google’s Doodle of her. I’m thankful that I had an opportunity to write about her. And, you’re welcome.



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