By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:20 Updated


It was quite a befitting evening to launch a book written by a local author. Tuesday, December 19th, our prized local holiday hailed as “Heroes and Heroines’ Day”, saw the unveiling of Mouthspeeches, a brilliant piece of literary art compiled by renowned poet and author, Mrs. Patricia Adams, affectionately known as Tr. Patsy. The launch took place in the St. Mary’s Anglican Church in a structured but rather informal atmosphere, accented by occasional spells of colloquial humor.
Mouthspeeches is not a work of poetry as Tr. Patsy’s former books were; but a collection of Anguillian words, proverbs and idioms brought together in one volume to educate especially the younger generations of Anguillians, and non-Anguillians alike, concerning the traditional words which have historically shaped our colloquial dialect and our nation’s diction.
The stage for the launch was set as the author’s son, Pastor Dwayne Adams, offered the prayer of invocation with thanksgiving as its theme. The Anglican Church Women’s Association (ACWA) then led the audience in singing the National Song, after which Mrs. Nakieta Adams introduced the moderator, Ms. Valarie Hodge, whom the author jovially described as the “fittest person” to chair the program. She would prove indeed to be the “fittest”, as she never fails to display her exceptional talent for communicating in the ole Anguillian twang with her raw Anguillian dialect, as one being so versed in Anguillian folklore.

The program, for the most part, took the form of recitals and songs rendered by several individuals who were evidently handpicked by the author to recite and sing many of the poems and songs she had written in books previously launched. Songs like Pea Soup Boilin, Zenaida Aurita, Follow Me Dis Christmas, and It’s Christmas, all sung by the ACWA, were complemented by poems such as Children Food, The ABC of Anguilla, Home Again, E Man U L Letter, My Tongue, The Honourable Dunce, and Ah Say Leave ‘Em Lone. These were recited by Rhonicia Connor, Ciara Banks, Fiona Wilkerson, Colin Johnson, Alex Ryan, Chanelle Petty-Barrett, and Mr. Fabian Fahie respectively. The striking feature of Mr, Fahie’s rendition, though, was that while the other reciters read their pieces, he delivered his directly from memory.

Other striking poems written by Tr. Patsy, and rendered at Tuesday night’s launch of Mouthspeeches, were Beauty in Debris and ‘Tis de Common Man. The former, which relayed an account of how Hurricane Irma’s revolutionary acts scaled down our way of life in Anguilla, was reminiscently recited by David Carty, while the latter was passionately delivered by Farah Banks. And while there is no prejudice or partiality held against the others, The Anguillian chose to feature this one below – ‘Tis de Common Man.

Present at the event was Miss Avon Carty, Senior Program Officer in the Department of Youth and Culture. She praised Tr. Patsy for her literary work this way: “It is my honor and privilege this evening to offer brief remarks on behalf of the Department of Youth and Culture, and more specifically on behalf of the Culture and Arts Division, of which I am part. I don’t know if I can really express how delighted we are to be a part of the realization of this dream.

“Mrs. Patricia Adams, known to many of us as Tr. Patsy, is a valued partner and an effective artist in the Department of Youth and Culture, and it is always a pleasure for us to work with her. Over the years she has offered us sterling advice on matters of Anguillian culture and arts, and she has a wealth of knowledge of our history, culture and literary arts, being a well respected poet and author of numerous published works. This evening we are here to celebrate with her and her family another of her long string of literary accomplishments, the publishing of Mouthspeeches. On behalf of my Director and colleagues at the Department of Youth and Culture, I would like to congratulate Tr. Patricia Adams on this her latest publication, Mouthspeeches.”

Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Cardigan Connor stated: “I am pleased to be here tonight, and I apologize for the absence of the Honorable Minister of Culture, Mr. Evans McNeil Rogers, and for the Permanent Secretary of Culture, Dr. Bonnie Richardson-Lake and the Director of Culture, Mr. Bren Romney. All of them would have like to be here for this occasion, but other commitments have prevented them.

“Mrs. Adams, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, please accept our congratulation on the launch of another literary work. This publication, like previous publications, preserves and codifies key elements of our nation’s intangible cultural heritage. We cannot however underestimate or fail to appropriately position Mouthspeeches, a book of Anguillian words, proverbs and idioms. Perhaps as one of the more consequential publications, Mouthspeeches focuses on the uniqueness and the imbedded wisdom in our shared language. It is a guide for much of the wisdom passed down from our forebears to generations of Anguillians. This wisdom provides a blueprint for our way of life and the pillars upon which our society was built.”

Close to the end of the program, Tr. Patsy joined with ACWA to sing the song Until You Try. Again, this is one of her own compositions which she had featured at a graduation ceremony at the Stony Ground Primary School when she served there as a teacher. That rendition brought to the fore hearty words of encouragement for anyone who might be struggling to see the potential success of a nurtured dream. A well-delivered Vote of Thanks was given by Mrs. Vondel Adams.
The Anguillian chanced to meet with two of Tr. Patsy’s former students, identical twin-sisters Krystal and Krystie Webster. They were on hand to support their teacher at the noteworthy launch, and claimed that they are especially proud of her great works, having been exposed to the poem The Honorable Dunce, when they were only in Grade 4. They reflected on how Tr. Patsy converted that poem in a play and Tr. Colin Johnson directed them both to perform it as easily mistaken characters on the stage of life.

The Anguillian extends hearty congratulations to Tr. Patsy on the launch of her new production. We trust that the public will find Mouthpieces useful as it becomes acquainted with the language of our ancestors.

It’s de common man
Who born dis lan
Study all its pores, cliffs an shores.
Work de dark dirt in he sweaty shirt
Dig each well dat reach near hell.

It’s de common man
Dat buil’ de schools where teacha rules
An dat ole chuch we love so much
De bak’ries and de shops dat sell lollipops
An all de houses dat’s fill wit mouses.

It’s de common man
Dat pick de fruits in shabby suits
Pluck de corn come early dawn
Butcha de meat for we-all to eat
An cook de meals so we body heals.

It’s de common man
Who mek de great in every state
Widout we lil dollar no tie roun he collar
Dere’s no high seat if we ain’t beneat’
Unless we vote no salute to he coat.

It’s de common man
Who fight in de war on shores afar
Sail hilly seas inhale de salt breeze
Shed he blood an don’ say a word
And when he die he own blood cry.

It’s de common man
Who conquer mountins and erup’ fountins
Study skies wid watery eyes
Who invent music an den accuse it
Play happy games wid funny names.

Tis de common man
Who bring peace in our lan and love for ebry man
De injustices we bury and de rights we merry
Hey! A simple ting like sleep it didn come cheap
Our pennies in de bank, tis he we have to t’ank.
Tis because,
Tis because of,
Tis because of de common man.

By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:20 Updated


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