We have neither Summer nor Winter
Neither Autumn nor Spring.
We have instead the days
When the gold sun shines on the lush green canefields-
The days when the rain beats like bullet on the roofs
And there is no sound but thee swish of water in the gullies
And trees struggling in the high Jamaica winds.
Also there are the days when leaves fade from off guango trees’
And the reaped canefields lie bare and fallow to the sun.
But best of all there are the days when the mango and the logwood blossom
When the tall grass sways and shivers to the slightest breath of air,
When the buttercups have paved the earth with yellow stars
And beauty comes suddenly and the rains have gone.
The poem tells of the weather conditions in Jamaica although it does not have the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The weather conditions of golden sunny days and wet rainy days are just as good and are almost equivalent to the four seasons.
Lush Healthy growth
Magnificently Wonderfully, grandly, beautifully
Swish The sound made by moving water
Gullies Channels cut out in the earth by persistent rainfall
Struggling Fighting to survive; moving with great physical effort
Fade Lose their colour
Fallow Left bare (in order to recover natural fertility)
UNDERSTANDING THE POEM
Lines 1 to 10
The poet tells about his homeland , Jamaica and rejoices the beauty of this island. Jamaica has no seasonal changes. It has a tropical climate which is hot and wet throughout the year. The days of golden sunshine are glorious and magnificent. The are many canefields in Jamaica as sugar is one of the main exports in this country.
Lines 11 to 15
In the ending of the poem, the poet tells us his favourite time – days when the flowers of mango trees and logwood blossom. He uses imagery of sound and smell to illustrate abundant life and activity in the bushes when the ‘sound of bees and the scent of honey’ add to the charm and beauty if Jamaica. He describes the fields filled with lovely yellow buttercups. All this happens when the rains have stopped and the beauty if nature emerges once again.
Beauty of nature
Appreciation of one own country
We should appreciate what we have in our own country
We should not long for what we do not have.
We should appreciate our homeland.
We should appreciate the beauty of nature.
Appreciative and happy
Carefree and light-hearted
Sense of beauty
POINT OF VIEW
Third person point of view
LANGUAGE AND STYLE
Simple and easy to understand the language
Clear and descriptive
Simple style with no rhyming scheme
Imagery – e.g. ‘gold sun’, ‘lush green fields’, ‘trees struggling’
Alliteration – e.g. ‘sways and shivers to the slightest breath of air’
Symbols – e.g. ‘gold sun’ – symbol of summer, ‘rains’ – symbol of winter
Contrast – e.g. ‘beauty’ or summer is compared with ‘rains’ or winter
Figurative Language – Simile – ‘rain beats like bullets’
Metaphor – e.g. ‘the buttercups paved the earth with yellow stars’
Personafication – ‘buttercups have paved the earth’ … buttercups have been personified as having laid tiles
For reference, I’ve included the pictures of some plants (plantation) mentioned in this poem.