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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Postal History of Barbados in Poetry with Comments


Barbados postage stamps for you;
Plenty facts stuck with glue;
These sticky little squares do show;
Monarchy you should know;

What rates for the weights they must hold,
On papers new or old?
Postage stamps tell, tell true stories;
Not of Whigs and Tories.

Revenue sent to government
Stamps legal document;
We make love to sticky-paste squares
With kisses, glue adheres.

Queen Victoria days of yore;
Penny Post at the door;
World's first postmark known, who carved it?
Henry Bishop made it.

Who gave us the adhesive stamp?
Was Rowland Hill, the champ?
Barbados postage stamps left clues;
Of kings and queens infuse.

On this half penny stamp of green;
Historical facts seen;
A crown that floats above a head;
What message does it spread?

In the Victorian era,
He wore no crown never;
A consort he was her husband;
She proposed to this man.

Strong woman would make that occur;
He said yes, yes after;
Acrostics she did; he liked chess;
Both them played with success.

Queen Victoria on the throne;
Morality enthroned;
To every far flung colony;
Barbados, so tiny;

Growing sugar-cane island’s crop;
And slaves working non-stop;
No wage in pounds, shillings and pence;
Working fields, heat intense.

Cutting sugarcane filled dray-carts,
Feeding mills, black-poor hearts;
Bedchamber crisis in Palace;
Peel resigned from office;

Interesting review on this;
This postage stamp depicts
Britannia, Roman goddess,
Postage face does impress.

What are the images you see?
Neptune god of the sea;
Which Britannia personified;
And Romans canonized.

Female personification;
Britannia’s passion;
Brave waves did splash over England;
Britain, the great island.

Like Neptune she holds a trident;
Three prongs so evident;
Neptune rides waves with seahorses
Well; Britannia does.

For crying out loud hear this thing;
Barbados she acting
Like she is, Great Britain's England;
Called self "Little England".

Barbados stamps from the outset;
Mirrored England's stamp set;
Post photos alike during the
Victorian era.

Look at postage stamp one farthing;
Gives credence and backing;
Much more is on this postage plate;
So let's reiterate;

Barbados’ story of money,
Few words stated mintly;
Three and a half centuries ago,
Crown's grip on it did show.

Pounds shillings and pence, changeable;
British money table;
Four farthings, one penny it is;
Twelve pence one shilling, Chris.

Imagery on the stamps does say;
Victoria holds sway;
Eighteen thirty-seven young queen;
On the throne at eighteen.

How much those two pees worth today?
A reckoning would say
In Barbados money, six cents;
Inflation dents the pence.

Imperialist's grip on Bimshire
Postage stamps, front and rear;
Dubbed Barbados Britannia
Bags mail with carrier.

Britannia has many themes:
Sea, land, air, and dog scenes
Celebrations, and so much more;
Seen on each stamp photo.

Look at Britannia below,
And see how those themes glow;
In this postage stamp gallery;
Compiled for you gladly.

Did the Bajan Britannia
Suffer asthenia?
No, got too much power to stir
The colonial air;

Feeding the lungs of royalty,
And their entrenched army,
The largest Empire on earth;
With glory and self-worth.

Two centuries these British knaves;
Britannia ruled the waves;
Politics play on sticky squares;
Land owners billionaires;

Hindsight sees the bad and the good;
Sherwood hid Robin Hood;
Empire and George VI would die;
His daughter is not shy.

In the year nineteen sixty-six,
Elizabeth did fix
Imperial wrongs, she undressed;
Her Commonwealth cleaned mess;

Bajan Britannia in the dark;
Independence stamps spark;
Britain no longer holds this rock;
Forty-five years ticktock.

With the texture of an Afro,
The rock sat in Barrow;
Proudly wrapped in Broken Trident;
Union Jack silent.

A bold shift in Bajan postage;
The royal head abridge;
When Queen Elizabeth gave back,
Her pen did wave brave tact.

This rock, her ancestors sliced up
Lapping royal tea-cup;
In the year sixteen twenty five;
Human rights ere deprive;

More than three hundred years preserved;
Before new Queen observed;
Her reign brings to Bajans new hope,
And a new skipping rope.

Each postage stamp bears Bajan craft;
Drives postal photograph;
With themes, and scenes of our land;
Sir Garry from Bayland;

Cricketer from Police Sports Club;
Queen Elizabeth dubbed;
Sir Garfield Sobers on the field;
Greatest all-rounder kneeled.

Bajan's living hero knighted;
Captaincy accepted;
Sir Frank Worrell ere his mentor;
At the wicket we saw;

He pleased crowds growing round the ground;
On him, flowing around;
Sir Garfield St Auburn Sobers;
Collie’s death he ponders...

Traumatic time indeed for him;
Drinking tears kept him slim;
Hits six sixes in one over;
Pleasing crowds rolled-over.

Six successive balls in cricket,
From powerful wicket;
See him on postage Sir Gary
Hones cricket skillfully.

Pause we must on October nine;
This thought floods brain of mine
On postal anniversary;
Postage fraternity.

Eighteen hundred and sixty four,
This I recall and more;
The arrival of World Post Day
Mail stubs are here to stay.

Reflect we must on UPU;
Headquarters for mail crew
Of the Universal Postal;
A problem-solving hull.

Union taken for granted,
And benefits charted;
The UPU in zonal ways;
Hugs Bajan postal trays.

With pride and appreciation;
We in this small nation;
Celebrate World Post Day with hearts
In Bern's postal ramparts;

Such Swiss' confidence they instill
In our postal mill;
Impacting all living beings;
When Nations Seek postings.

Stuck on historic road’s outpost;
With alphabetic host;
Forty-eight quatrains count and score
Verses; one eighty-four.


Wikipedia asserts that historical poetry is a sub-genre of poetry that has its roots in history. Its aim is to delineate events of the past by incorporating elements of artful composition and poetic diction. Figurative devices such as alliteration, assonance, metaphor, and simile are invariably used to layer historical poems with expanding, enriching meanings.

This poem, “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry” highlights the assertion that postage stamps from any country have many functions besides their primary function. Stamp collectors, philatelists and historical poets eagerly lap-up the historical underpinnings of these sticky pictorial squares with corrugated edges.

Poets when writing historical poems evoke to a large degree a tool referred to as narrative license referred to by such names as artistic license, dramatic license, historical license, poetic license, and licentia poetica. This license gives them a slightly different responsibility than do historians. The historian is expected to present factually correct narratives.  A poet who writes historical poems adheres to this but is free to inject mythical or emotional truths in imagery mapping. Historical poets demonstrate the concern with keeping the voices of historical persons alive when writing persona poems or other intimate portrayals of persons who have passed on; no longer able to speak for themselves.

Historical poems can be a bonding agent because it is linked to poetic intention. The poet’s intention is what matters in serving various ulterior motives. Such motives might include the notions of:

Informing readers at the time of present events, in order to draw parallels and make a political statement;

Having a connection to historical events being recorded;

The relevancy of history to the poet which then becomes an emotional tool of expression like any other form of poetry.

The rhyme scheme in this historical poem is aabb. An aabb rhyme scheme is a poem in which the first two verses and second two verses rhyme creating a pattern.  How is the rhyme scheme arranged with the other verses in subsequent stanzas when the first two verses and second two verses in subsequent stanzas do not rhyme with the end-rhymes in the first stanza? The specialized rhyme scheme for this is to start each subsequent stanza with the alphabet letter that follows as shown in Table below. If a poem has three stanzas the rhyme scheme would be aabb ccdd eeff. If the poem has four stanzas the rhyme scheme would be aabb ccdd eeff gghh. However, since the poem has forty-eight stanzas the rhyme scheme would be very cumbersome indeed for all the letters of the alphabet to be on display. Therefore, stop at the end of the fourth stanza, gghh48 and use the raised number forty-eight to indicate that the poem has forty-eight stanzas, so there is no need to continue with the alphabetic letters.





Many poetic devices are found in poems. Here is a partial list of what I have found in the poem, “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

Alliteration                                                           
Assonance                                                           
Consonance                                                         
Double rhymes or disyllabic rhymes                       
Compound rhymes                                               
Falling rhymes                                                      
Identical rhymes                                                 
Masculine rhymes
Mosaic rhymes
Rich rhymes
Rising rhymes
Single rhymes
Slant rhymes
Triple rhymes                                               

Alliteration also called head rhyme or initial rhyme is the repetition of the initial sounds, usually consonants of stressed syllables in neighboring words or at short intervals within a verse, or passage usually at word beginnings.  Here is an example from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

Plenty facts stuck with glue;
These sticky little squares do show:                 (alliteration)         

Alliteration has a gratifying effect on the sound and gives reinforcement to stresses, and also can serve as a subtle connection or emphasis of key words in the verse.

Assonance is the relatively close juxtaposition of the same or similar vowel sounds, but with different end consonants.  This device repeats vowel sounds in stressed words place near each other rather than in vowel sounds that are unstressed. Here are some examples found in “Postal History of Barbados”:

For crying out loud hear this thing;
Britain no longer holds this rock;
Hits six sixes in one over;
Stuck on historic roads outpost;
Verses; one eighty-four.

Consonance repeats consonant sounds at the ending of words placed near each other, usually on the same or adjacent verse. These consonant sounds should be in sounds that are stressed, rather than in vowel sounds that are unstressed. Examples from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry” are shown below:

Who gave us the adhesive stamp?
Was Rowland Hill, the champ?
Barbados postage stamps left clues
Of kings and queens infused
Acrostics she did; he liked chess;
Both of them played with success.
Cutting sugarcane filled dray-carts;
Feeding mills, black-poor hearts;
Neptune rides waves with seahorses;
Well; Britannia does.
No, got too much power to stir
The colonial air;
The largest Empire on earth;
With glory and self-worth.
Hindsight sees the bad and the good;
Sherwood hid Robin Hood;
Empire and George VI would die,
Bajan Britannia in the dark;
Independence stamps spark;
Britain no longer holds this rock;
Forty-five years tick tock.

What is apparent here is that rhyme is the combination of assonance and consonance as well as being the repetition of similar sounds in two or more words.

Compound rhymes also known as multisyllabic rhymes are rhymes that contain two or more syllables.  The examples here will feature two or more syllables taken from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry” as shown below:

Revenue sent to government           Female personification                     On postal anniversary;
Stamps legal document;                    Britannia’s passion;                            Postage fraternity;
Did the Bajan Britannia                   To every far flung colony;
Suffer asthenia?                              Barbados, so tiny

Double or disyllabic rhymes form when two final syllables of words have the same sound. Here are some examples found in “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

Postage stamps tell, tell true stories;
Not of Whigs and Tories.
Strong woman would make that occur;
He said yes, yes after;
Bedchamber crisis in Palace;
Peel resigned from office;
Brave waves did splash over England
Britain, the great island.
Look at postage stamp one farthing;
Gives credence and backing;
With the texture of an Afro,
The rock sat in Barrow;
Proudly wrapped in Broken Trident;
Union Jack silent.
A bold shift in Bajan postage;
The royal head abridge;
More than three hundred years preserved;
Before new queen observed;
Sir Garfield St Auburn Sobers;
Collie’s death he ponders...
Six successive balls in cricket,
From powerful wicket;
Union taken for granted,
And benefits charted;
Impacting all living beings
When Nations Seek postings.

Falling rhyme also known as feminine rhyme is when rhyme falls on an unstressed (ˬ) final syllable as shown in these examples: 















Identical rhyme uses the same word to rhyme with itself.  It should not be confused with identical sounding words with different meanings. Here is an example:

World’s first postmark known, who carved it?
Henry Bishop made it

Masculine rhyme makes up the bulk of rhymes in English Language poetry. It occurs in words of one syllable and in stressed final syllables. Here are some examples:

These sticky little squares do show;
Monarchy you should know;
Imperial wrongs, she undressed;
Her Commonwealth cleaned mess.
More than three hundred years preserved;
Before new Queen observed;

Mosaic rhyme occurs when two or more words produce a multiple rhyme, either with two or more other words, as go for/no more or in a larger word, as cop a plea/ monopoly (Glossary of Poetic Terms from Bob’s Byway). Here some examples taken from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

gave back;/ wave; brave tact (mosaic Rhyme)

When Queen Elizabeth gave back;                 
Her pen did wave; brave tact.

growing around ground;/ roving round. (mosaic Rhyme)

He pleased crowds growing around ground;
Loyal fans roving round.

zonal ways/ postal trays (mosaic rhyme)

The UPU in zonal ways
Hugs Bajan postal trays;

Rich rhymes also known as true rhymes, perfect rhymes and exact rhymes. They have the same number of syllables and sound exactly alike with the exception of one or more letters. Here are some examples taken from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

Barbados postage stamps for you;
Plenty facts stuck with glue;
Who gave us the adhesive stamp?
Was Rowland Hill, the champ?
Barbados postage stamps left clues;
Of kings and queens infuse.
 No wage in pounds, shillings and pence;
Working fields, heat intense.
Cutting sugarcane filled dray-carts,
Feeding mills, black-poor hearts;
Brave waves did splash over England;
Britain, the great island.

Rising rhyme is the rhyming of rhymes that utilize rising rhythm or masculine ending. This ictus (/) represents a rising rhythm. Here are examples taken from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:
































Single rhymes occur when one-syllable words rhyme. One syllable words are known as monosyllables. Here are examples from “Postal History of Barbados in Poetry”:

Her reign brings to Bajan new hope;     
And a new skipping rope;

Sir Garfield Sobers on the field;
Greatest all-rounder kneeled;

Pause we must on October nine;  
This thought floods brain of mine;

Slant rhymes are also known as near rhymes, approximate rhymes, off rhymes, imperfect rhymes and half rhymes. This type of rhyme shows consonance on the final letters of words. Here are examples taken from “Postage History of Barbados in Poetry”:

These sticky little squares do show;
Monarchy you should know;
On this half penny stamp of green;
Historical facts seen;
A crown that floats above a head;
What message does it spread?

Triple rhymes are rhymes where the last three syllables of words rhyme as shown in the following examples:

Yes indeed, the task of duopoly
Surely, it will drives down monopoly.

In many forms,  it does operate;
Capital gang must cooperate;

He really; used the word incriminate!
No, his lips uttered recriminate.

When will they end this age of greediness?
It was all done with utter speediness.




References

Glossary of Poetic Terms from Bob’s Byway. Mosaic Rhymes. Retrieve March 14, 2013 from Google Search. http://www.poeticbyway.com/gl-m.html

Historical Poetry. Wikipedia. Retrieved March 14, 2013 from
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_poetry



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