Louise Bennett-Coverley’s “Colonization in Reverse” is written in Jamaican Patois and may seem difficult to understand. The following is a paraphrase or translation of the poem into standard English.
Stanza 1 translation
What happy news, miss Mattie, I feel like my heart is going to burst. Jamaicans are colonizing England in reverse.
Stanza 2 translation
By the hundreds, by the thousands, from the countryside and from towns, by the ship-loads and plane-loads, Jamaicans are bound for England.
Stanza 3 translation
They are pouring out of Jamaica. Everybody’s future plan is to get a respectable, well-paying job and to settle in the motherland of the British Empire.
Stanza 4 translation
What an island! What a people! Men and women, old and young are p...