“The Song of the Banana Man” by Evan Jones


From the Favorite Poem Project video archive, here is George Scott reading “The Song of the Banana Man” by Evan Jones. Scott is a business owner in Hartford, CT.


“The poem is set in the mid-forties in Jamaica. The main person in the poem is a small farmer who ekes out a living in the very hard hillsides of Portland of Jamaica. He’s proud of what he does, he knows who he is, and he’s not afraid of facing anyone who wants to criticize him. I like it because of that expression of who a Jamaican is, but I also like it because it was one of the first attempts by any Jamaican to use the Jamaican Creole, in a way that could have universal understanding.”

Related: The Favorite Poem Project is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded the Favorite Poem Project shortly after the Library of Congress appointed him to the post in 1997.