1. Created by: Patricia L. PittSan Fernando East Secondary School, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies 2. Travellers’ Tales 3. Meditation on YellowJennifer Rahim, lecturer in English in theDepartment of Liberal Arts at the University of theWest Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad has describedthis poem as “a clever, satirical monologue thattraces the evolution of the capitalist ethos in theregion.”She notes that “Senior evokes the color yellow assymbol of a historical continuum of plunder,enslavement, and servitude that marks theCaribbean’s relations with the developed world,beginning with the conquistadors’ misguided searchfor gold, then the sugar of the colonial plantationeconomy, and finally the trade in sunshine and sandof the contemporary tourist industry.”
4. Meditation on Yellow-Part 1Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a novel entitledOne Hundred Years of Solitude. He has statedthat his favourite shade is:“The yellow of the Caribbean seen fromJamaica at three in the afternoon…”A dominant theme in his One Hundred Yearsof Solitude is the inevitable and inescapablerepetition of history. The protagonists arecontrolled by their pasts and the complexity oftime.García Márquez also used colours as symbolsin this book. Yellow and gold were the mostfrequently used colours and they weresymbols of imperialism and the SpanishSiglo de Oro. Gold signified a search foreconomic wealth, whereas yellow representeddeath, change, and destruction. 5. Meditation on Yellow-Part 1El Dorado is Spanish for “thegolden/gilded one”). Legend has itthat it was the name of a Muiscatribal chief who covered himselfwith gold dust and, as an initiationrite, dived into a sacred highlandlake.
Later it became the name of alegendary “Lost City of Gold” thathas fascinated – and so far eluded –explorers since the days of theSpanish Conquistadors. Thoughmany have searched for years onend to find this city of gold, noevidence of such a place has beenfound.El Dorado came to be usedmetaphorically of any place wherewealth could be rapidly acquired. 6. Persona-An Arawak of Jamaica“Had I known I would havebrewed you up some yellow fever-grassand arsenicbut we were peaceful thenchild-like in the yellow dawn of our innocence…”Lemon/Fever Grass Fever grass tea Yellow sulphide of arsenic 7. “a string of islands and two continents”for “a string of beads and some hawk’s bells…” Usually the word string would be followed by pearls, something of value. In this case however, the Indians received worthless glass beads and hawk’s bells.
8. “(you were not the last to be fooled by our patina)”In the Taino culture of the Antilles, aguanín was a badge of triballeadership, worn by the Cacique(chief).It was a mixture of Gold and Bronze,made from flakes of gold extractedfrom rivers; these flakes werepounded with rocks until theymelted together into a small discwhich the Cacique could weararound his neck or some other partof the body.It attracted early European visitors. 9. “As for silver/I find that metal a bit cold” To “bite the bullet” is to endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.
10. Meditation on Yellow-Part 2 Persona –Hotel/Hospitality Worker “served by me skin burnt black as toast (for which management apologizes)”“At some hotel overlookingthe sea…” 11. “I’ve been slaving…”12. “I’ve been slaving… for your” 13. “Just when I thought I could rest…” Tourism-the new form of colonization and exploitation… 14. “So I serving them…” 15. “But still they want more…” Sex tourism“want it strongwant it longwant it blackwant it greenwant it dread” 16. “You cannot stop those Streggehs”-loud, promiscuous women in Jamaica Cassia Allamanda Poui Golden Shower 17. “You cannot reverse Bob Marley wailing…” 18. Bibliography for Med on Yellow
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