Jamaica's penchant for drama has made the country a writer's dream. That's something Karen “The Bryck Rose” Morrison discovered while living on the island for the past decade.
The colourful nature of Jamaicans inspired many of the poems in Dewdrops: Heartical Poetry English & Jamaican Patwa, her first book, which was released on October 16 on Amazon.
It contains 52 poems, 18 in patois and the remainder in Standard English.
“It was very important for me to use patois in several of the poems to capture the true meaning of what was being said; to capture expression, vibes, and highlight a very important part of Jamaican culture, our language,” Morrison explained. “For those who don't understand the language, I want this book to encourage them to read patois, use patois, and understand patois. I included an eight-page (explanatory) glossary in the back of the book.”
One of the poems that projects Jamaica's dialect and resilience of its people is Sumadi Son. It is based on the aggressive 'loader bwoys' who solicit passengers for independent Coaster buses, particularly in Kingston.
“I started to write Sumadi Son while I was waiting for a bus to load. The young man loading the bus seemed so desperate as if his very life depended on it. Such anguish was on his face. I thought to myself, 'He is loading the bus because he has to, not because he wants to, and he is sumadi [somebody's] son,” she related.
Morrison, who was born in New York City to Jamaican parents, said it took her two years to complete Dewdrops. Also known as K Vibes, she made a name as a singer in her hometown, recording songs for various producers.
One of her previous songs was Chat mi Patwa, which champions the use of indigenous dialect in Jamaica.
Because she was raised by parents who never lost touch with their roots, Dewdrops is a significant accomplishment for Morrison.
“I am hoping to make a dub album from several of the poems in this book. It is a major achievement for me to release this book of poetry. It is a milestone in my life and something I am very proud of,” she said.