Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

King Banana

GREEN mancha mek fe naygur man;
   Wha' sweet so when it roas'?
Some boil it in a big black pan,
   It sweeter in a toas'.

A buccra fancy when it ripe,
   Dem use it ebery day;
It scarcely give dem belly-gripe,
   Dem eat it diffran' way.

Out yonder see somoke a rise,
   An' see de fire wicket;
Deh go'p to heaben wid de nize
   Of hundred t'ousan' cricket. 

De black moul' lie do'n quite prepare'
   Fe feel de hoe an' rake;
De fire bu'n, and it tek care
   Fe mek de wo'm dem wake. 

Wha' lef fe buccra teach again
   Dis time about plantation?
Dere's not'in' dat can beat de plain
   Good ole-time cultibation. 

Banana dem fat all de same
   From bunches big an' 'trong;
Pure nine-han' bunch a car' de fame, -- 
   Ole met'od all along. 

De cuttin' done same ole-time way,
   We wrap dem in a trash,
An' pack dem neatly in a dray
   So tight dat dem can't mash. 

We re'ch: banana finish sell;
   Den we 'tart back fe home:
Some hab money in t'read-bag well,
   Some spen' all in a rum. 

Green mancha mek fe naygur man,
   It mek fe him all way;
Our islan' is banana lan',
   Banana car' de sway.

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