Louise Simone Bennett Coverly


Dutty Tough - Poem by Louise Simone Bennett Coverly

Sun a shine but tings no bright;
Doah pot a bwile, bickle no nuff;
River flood but water scarce, yawl
Rain a fall but dutty tough.

Tings so bad dat nowadays when
Yuh ask smaddy how dem do
Dem fraid yuh tek tell dem back,
So dem no answer yuh.

No care omuch we da work fa
Hard-time still een wi shut;
We dah fight, Hard-time a beat we,
Dem might raise wi wages, but

One poun gawn awn pon we pay, an
We no feel no merriment
For ten poun gawn pon wi food
An ten pound pon we rent!

Saltfish gawn up, mackerel gawn up.
Pork en beef gawn up,
An when rice and butter ready
Dem jus go pon holiday!

Claht, boot, pin an needle gawn up
Ice, bread, taxes, water-rate
Kersine ile, gasolene, gawn up;
An de poun devaluate

De price of bread gone up so high
Dat we haffi agree
Fi cut we yeye pon bred an all
Turn dumplin refugee

An all dem marga smaddy weh
Dah gwan like fat is sin
All dem-deh weh dah fas wid me
Ah lef dem to dumpling!

Sun a shine an pot a bwile, but
Things no bright, bickle no nuff
Rain a fall, river dah flood, but,
Water scarce an dutty tough.


Comments about Dutty Tough by Louise Simone Bennett Coverly

  • (5/15/2019 7:37:00 PM)

    Really helped me because I had to perform in front of my class I was so scared (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (9/19/2018 7:46:00 PM)

    Get a Jamaican like me to read that cause it sounds very shitty (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (2/3/2017 10:48:00 AM)

    I want to be just like you Louise Bennett (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (10/2/2015 8:48:00 AM)

    This is a wonderful poem, full of insight and ageless wisdom. This is a terrible reading of that poem. Please - there are recordings of Miss Lou reciting it herself. If you can't arrange to use one of those, at least let a Jamaican read it. This reading does not do it any justice. (Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Godfrey Morris (5/2/2012 11:58:00 AM)

    lovely poem Ms. Lou. Queen of Jamaican dialect. (Report)Reply

    38 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Saturday, May 9, 2009



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