Lament of an Arawak Child
Have fun with the poem by trying this...
A ‘lament’ is a poem or song that expresses deep sadness. The sad child in this poem is an Arawak. The Arawaks were some of the very first people to live in Northern South America and the Caribbean islands. Imagine someone has asked you, ‘Who were the Arawak people?’ Use your research skills to find out more about them and create a fact sheet all about these people. Then read the poem aloud.
Once I played with the hummingbirds
and sang songs to the sea
I told my secrets to the waves
and they told theirs to me.
Now there are no more hummingbirds
the sea’s songs are all sad
for strange men came and took this land
and plundered all we had.
They made my people into slaves
they worked us to the bone
they battered us and tortured us
and laughed to hear us groan.
Today we’ll take a long canoe
and set sail on the sea
we’ll steer our journey by the stars
and find a new country.