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Jamaica Market

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Have fun with the poem by trying this...

You're probably feeling hungry after reading about all these wonderful foods in the market! We've counted over 30 different things you can eat. Read the poem again looking out for those foods. Which ones would you most like to eat?

Try reading the poem out loud. Notice how every two lines rhyme, (almost) every line has seven syllables and the lines have the same beat. Try to let this beat pulse beneath the words without it taking over.

There is one extra syllable in the last line. Let this help you to slow down so that your listeners can hold onto the idea of all the colours coming together as one.

If you have enjoyed the sounds in this poem try to write your own ‘list’ poem like this, a word-picture of all the objects that make a place you love special.

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Honey, pepper, leaf-green limes,
Pagan fruit whose names are rhymes,
Mangoes, breadfruit, ginger-roots,
Granadillas, bamboo-shoots,
Cho-cho, ackees, tangerines,
Lemons, purple Congo-beans,
Sugar, akras, kola-nuts,
Citrons, hairy coconuts,
Fish, tobacco, native hats,
Gold bananas, woven mats,
Plantains, wild-thyme, pallid leeks,
Pigeons with their scarlet beaks,
Oranges and saffron yams,
Baskets, ruby guava jams,
Turtles, goat-skins, cinnamon,
Allspice, conch-shells, golden rum.
Black skins, babel – and the sun
That burns all colours into one.

Jamaica Market

by Agnes Maxwell-Hall