From Behind the Counter: Poems From a Rural Jamaican Experience
$9.99
From Behind the Counter: Poems From a Rural Jamaican Experience
By Easton Lee, Photographs by Owen Minott
US$ 9.99
Book Description

Easton Lee was born to a Chinese father and a Jamaican mother of mixed racial heritage in the 1930s at Wait-abit, Trelawny, Jamaica. The family lived in several villages and towns as his parents ‘moved shop’ in search of a livelihood.

Life was different then – no television, no telephones, inadequate road systems, no radio. The life of rural communities revolved and evolved around the church, the school and the village shop. The majority of these shops were owned and operated by Chinese families.

Lee recalls that many evenings during his elementary schooldays were spent under the counter of his parents’ shop so he could be near to his mother as she attended to customers and helped him with homework. Customers, unaware of his presence, often discussed the village happenings and their private business in the most intimate details, giving him insight and information not otherwise available. His mother who was born at the run of the century fed him with stories and legends she had gleaned from her older relatives. An avid reader and a great storyteller, she often entertained her children and their friends with fascinating tales she had read or had heard in her childhood.

His attention later turned to his Chinese heritage with his father and other Chinese relatives providing the link to that source. He found to his amazement that those teachings were not all that different from those of other sources, and in some instances were identical.

This lively interest in and knowledge of Jamaican folklore which began in his schooldays was broadened and enhanced when, in adulthood, he went to work with Jamaica Social Welfare Commission, now the Social Development Commission, in a job which took him to every corner of the country.

From Behind the Counter is the first in the series of planned works which will record Jamaican lore and preserve this valuable heritage for future generations.

Table of Contents
  • CONTENTS
  • PREFACE
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • DAYS AND NIGHTS
    • FRIDAY
    • SATURDAY
    • SUNDAY
    • EVERY DAY
    • TODAY
    • NEXT DAY
    • ONE DAY
    • SOME DAYS
    • ALL WEEK
    • EVERY NIGHT
    • SOME NIGHTS
    • SATURDAY NIGHTS
  • MY MOTHER IS A PEOPLE
    • My MOTHER IS A PEOPLE
    • TO A MOTHER RESTING
    • MEEME BY THE EVENING DOOR
    • WHO FA GRANNY
    • YOU WILL SEE
    • REFLECTIONS
    • A CHILDHOOD MEMORY
    • YES MAMA
    • WOMAN PRAISE SONG
    • WOMAN
    • MOUNTAIN QUEEN
    • HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
  • MY FATHER INSIDE
    • AT THE NEW YEAR
    • THE VISIT
    • BEST MAN
    • BIRTHDAY SONG
    • FUNNELS
    • INSTRUCTIONS ON EQUALITY
    • MY FATHER INSIDE
    • PASSION'S WORDS
  • CHURCH IS A PLACE
    • MY REASON
    • HOLY THURSDAY LETTER
    • CHRISTMAS LETTER
    • PRAYER AT PENTECOST
    • HYMN AT BAPTISM
    • AS FREN TO FREN
    • THE ROPE AND THE CROSS
    • DARK VALLEY
    • THE DONKEYS COMPLAINT
    • CHURCH AND ME
    • ALL PROSPECTS PLEASE
    • PRAY HARD, WORK HARDER
    • SPECIAL PRAYERS
    • PUNISHMENT
    • DAY OF THE PSALMS
    • HAN GO PACK! COME
    • I LIVE
    • RIGHT CHURCH, WRONG PEW
    • UNTO OTHERS
    • FORGIVENESS
  • FUN AND GAMES
    • MUCH "TO DO" ABOUT NOTHING
    • NEW TORSHAN
    • VILLAGE JOKE
    • MARRIED STORY
    • GILNOCK RACE HORSE
    • MARRIED YES
    • WEDDING BELLE
  • SERIOUS THINGS
    • PLAIN TRUTH
    • DAY LIGHT OUT
    • JOURNEY
    • WORD IS WIND
    • PLAITING SONG
    • MESSAGE FROM AN OLD MAN
    • VILLAGE TRAGEDY
    • A WOMAN'S PRAYER FOR SHELTER
    • OUTSIDE PICKNEY
    • NO TEARS FOR THE WICKED
    • PAY DAY DECISION
    • MOSQUITOS
    • TRACINGS
    • PERCEPTION
    • STRATEGY
    • DOESN'T IT MATTER
    • CANE PIECE BLUES
    • ADVICE
    • SENSELESS
    • FROM THE SIDELINES
    • GETTING ON
  • I SAW MY LAND
    • TAKE A NEXT LOOK
    • THE RIVER
    • UNDER BANYAN TREE
    • CONSOLATION
    • DARK NIGHT
    • CORN TIME
    • DROUGHT
    • THE RAIN
    • SMALL EYES
    • MUSIC MAN
    • NEGRIL SUNSET
    • MERE MORTALS
    • SANTA CRUZ - HOLY CROSS
    • IN THE PARK, UP-TOWN, DOWN-TOWN
    • TOWN CLOCK
    • BY THE SUN
    • INTRODUCTION
    • OBEAH DUNG DEH
  • SCHOOL DAYS
    • MARBLES
    • MIDNIGHT TRAIN
    • FIGHT
    • GARDEN DAY
    • COOL SWEETNESS
    • NEXT TO GODLINESS
    • DRESS TO...
  • STORY TIME
    • STORY FROM DEATH ROW
    • A SAD STORY
    • CHINA TOWN STORY
    • LOVE (LOST) STORY
    • POOR AUNT MARGARET
    • AUNT B'S DAYS
    • NANA'S CHALK PIPE
    • MAN OF THE MORNING
    • WHO STRONGER
    • "INTERFERANCE"
    • ARGUMENT
    • WE IS THE BEST
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