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God’s Benevolent Potency

Karl Constantine FOLKES 1935 (Portland)

A double entendre
In the Jamaican language:
A Jah wah mek Yah.
It is God who made Himself.
And it’s He who made you too.

About this poem

This five-line one-stanza Japanese-style trilingual tanka poem, “God’s Benevolent Potency,” employs French, English, and Jamaican Creole (Patwa) to deliver a poetic amphibolous proverbial message about the nature and the tender loving kindness relationship of the Almighty God Yahweh with his people, humanity, whom, with benevolent potency, he created on the sixth day of Creation, declaring that sixth day of Creation emphatically to be “very good.” The uniquely ambiguous Jamaican sentence, “A Jah wah mek Yah,” that comprises the third line of this poem, can be translated into English either as “It is God who made God,” the sentence referring reflexively to God Himself, and to His personal name, “Yahweh;” or, in an entirely different sense, as “It is God who made you” (all of us). The Jamaican sentence, “A Jah wah mek Yah,” also makes poetic linguistic play on the name “Jamaica” itself which, when written in Jamaican Creole as “Jah mek Yah,” is expressed as a fully independent sentence interjected and expressed variously as: (1) “God made here” (this land). (2) “God made you” (humanity). (3) “God made Himself” (in His divine potency of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience). Note that in Jamaican Creole the word “Yah” (uppercase) or “yah” (lowercase) can be expressed as a proper noun, as a locative adverb, or in colloquial expression, as a second person (singular or plural) personal pronoun. Clearly, this poem is laden with both poetic and linguistic double entendre, inviting the reader to engage in an introspective metacognitive exercise concerning the metaphysics of the divine. 

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Written on July 03, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on July 03, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on July 03, 2022

8 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCDE
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 123
Words 28
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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    "God’s Benevolent Potency" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 May 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/131045/god’s-benevolent-potency>.

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