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Inna Mi Heart – Jamaican Love Poetry

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“Baby mi love yuh like cook food” or “A yuh mi waan fid deh wid” – wonderful phrases of endearment in Inna Mi Heart , a book of exciting Jamaican love poetry by author, comedienne and cultural educator, Joan Andrea Hutchinson.

The book , published over a year ago, provides a vehicle for the tied tongues of individuals who want to express themselves on issues of love, but just  can’t find the words. Part of the problem the author feels is that “they don’t teach it in schools”, adding that it is even harder for Jamaican men who have been taught by society  to play tough.

The 61 poem collection, all written in the Jamaican language, run the gamut of emotions from  seeing someone from a far and liking the person and but not knowing what to say, to being in love, to when the relationship is at its end and you want to out.

Each book is printed with a bookmark and the idea is that whatever emotion you wish to communicate to someone else, you simply bookmark the poem and deliver the book to the object of your affection or disaffections. This allows you to save your face if you are nervous, as you never have to see  the individual. 

Other topics dealt with in the book include falling in love with someone else even when you have a steady partner, being jealous when your ex partner seems in a happy relationship, and wanting consistent love rather than wine and roses on Valentine’s day.

Inna Mi Heart, celebrates love and relationships, and is a good ‘pick me up’ for relationships in trouble. Can you imagine after a little spat in a relationship your partner says “no matter how wi miserable up wiself,  mi glad a you mi choose.”
Aside from being well known as a champion of Jamaican language and culture, Hutchinson’s decision to write a body of love poems in the language was deliberate. She said she needed to dispel the myth that the Jamaican language can only be used to communicate coarse and basic concepts, and is less able than English in couching fine emotions. “Can you imagine being told by your partner  ‘morish like peckeh peckeh potato pudden, dat a fi mi love?”

The book is enhanced by images of two beautiful Jamaican children, Hutchinson’s niece Imanie, and nephew Emmanuel, whose sweetness,  charm and innocence lend themselves to heightening the appreciation of  several of the poems.

Inna Mi Heart, is in no way a Valentine’s Day book, but rather a book for all reasons and seasons, for all those who have ever loved or are planning to love. And  even if the only person you have to love is yourself …Inna Mi Heart is still a great read.


– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

Mi no come offa no high table
Mi no have no university degree
Mi no boasy and pretentious bout life
But what yuh see is me
But yuh see mi … mi check fi yuh

Mi kyaan carry yuh  go  a no expensive spot
Mi kyaan stomach fancy food
Mi kyaan tek yuh hypocrite kin teet friend dem
But wah mi can do is treat yuh good
An yuh see mi … mi will love yuh right

Unlike mi, yuh have gold spoon inna yuh mout
Yuh no short a nothing
But from wah mi see, yuh look like yuh coulda do
Wid a lickle loving
So see mi yah … ready fi kill yuh wid love

– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

Even  if yuh put on fifty pound
Even if yuh sick an mawga down
Even if yuh bleach di black fi fayva brown
A yuh  mi waan fi deh wid

Even if yuh foot shape like afoo yam
An yuh hand look like song of di banana man
Even if yuh claim rasta but a quietly lick di ham
A yuh mi waan fid eh wid

So even doah yuh behaving like a clown
An yuh name a call all over town
A yuh mi still waan fi be around
A yuh mi waan fi deh wid

– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

Fi di whole year yuh treat mi floops
Den braps, mi get red roses
Yuh think say chocolate an wine can compensate
Mi no waan no valentine poses

Mi no waan no dinner a no fancy restaurant
Keep yuh red an white teddy bear
Unless yuh a go love an treat mi good
Every day of di year

Love a one full time wuck, more dan nine to five
A no just di one day poses
So if mi kyaan get consistent love from yuh
Keep yuh wine an roses

– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

Baby mi love yuh and yuh done well and know
But a guy can’t too meck him feelings show
Yuh feel mi love and dat suppose to enough
But man a man and man haffie flex tough
So no expect mi fi come wid no lovey dovey love
Cause man a thug, an thug no show love

Mi will tidy house an help yuh wash plate
Change baby diaper, iron cook an bake
Wash yuh hair an massage yuh body all night long
Hug up an dance like grandpa when mi hear love song
But outa street mi no eena di smoochie smoochie love
For man a thug, an thug no show love

Most people no know say mi have a romantic side
Mi will give yuh sweet an tender loving till yuh clide
At home mi will bow, cause yuh control di remote
An mi ready fi go front a parson go teck  oath
But John Public no haffie know  bout mi romantic love
For man a thug … an thug no show love

– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

Dem say kidnapper and thief a criminal
An criminal go to jail
But mi think if one day mi kidnap yuh
Love an passion gwine prevail

When mi thief yuh way, yuh mighta fight at  first
But when mi ketch yuh in di sack
An show yuh how good loving go
Yuh nah go waan go back

Yuh a go waan mi an beg mi no fi stop
An heng on pon mi tight
Yuh a go waan lay down inna mi bed
From night until daylight

When mi finally release yuh mi already know
Di note yuh a go send
‘Why yuh tecking sooo long
Fi kidnap mi again?”

– by Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

A long time mi a watch yuh, but mi don’t know
What fi say or how fi do
So slow down lickle an gi mi a chance
Meck mi chat to yuh

Mi nuh have  no bag a lyrics fi fling down
Mi clueless bout romance
But wah mi really waan fi say to yuh is
Just gi mi a chance

A chance fi ‘deh’ an create  union
Fi fill yuh life wid happiness
Fi love yuh an treat yuh like royalty
Yuh deserve di very best

Mi a go show yuh  things yuh never know
Believe mi, mi nah stop try
So if yuh ready fi a bonify ol fashion love
Do … gi mi di bligh

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