Lorna Goodison Questions and Answers

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What is the poem "Jah Music" by Lorna Goodison about? How can the poem be compared to the steelpan?

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Lorna Goodison is a painter-turned-poet hailing from Kingston, Jamaica. Her numerous written works have been published across dozens of collections since the late 1970s. Much of her poetry is focused on the meaning and influence of the Caribbean arts—music in particular—and her poem "Jah Music" is a prime example.


"Jah Music" talks about the melody of the music emanating from lowly places. It specifically deals with the kind of places inhabited by common, poor folk. She speaks of it "bubbl[ing] up through a cistern" and "stained from traveling underground, smelling of poor people's dinners." Caribbean music is not handed down from the wealthy tastemakers above, "it pulses without a symphony conductor." It...

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