Jamaican-born Una Marson was a poet, journalist and broadcaster. An important figure in both the inter-war feminist and anti-colonial movements, her poetry reflected these themes. In 1930 Marson self-published Tropic Reveries, her first book of poetry. Initially dismissed by some as trite, Marson’s poems – such as ‘In Vain’ and ‘Love Songs’ – challenged patriarchal views of womanhood.
Remarkably, Marson was the first Black female newspaper editor in Jamaica and first Black female BBC producer. Under her direction, the BBC Caribbean service ‘Calling the West Indies’ (1939–42) programme evolved into Caribbean Voices (1943–58), ‘one of the most important catalysts for Anglophone Caribbean writing’.
Poems shown here include:
- ‘In Love’ (p. 1)
- ‘If You Were Mine’ (p. 16)
- ‘Renunciation’ (p. 20)
- ‘In Vain’ (p. 27)
- ‘A Prayer’ (p. 40)
- ‘Weariness’ (pp. 76–77)
- ‘To Wed or Not To Wed’ (pp. 81–82)
- Full title:
- Tropic Reveries. Poems. [With a portrait.]
- Gleaner Co.
- Book / Poem
- Una Marson, Uncredited photographer
- © Una Marson: We have been unable to locate the copyright holder for Una Marson. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any information you have regarding this item.
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Hakim Adi
- Authors, artists and activists, Waves of history
At the turn of the 20th century, colonialism meant that colonial subjects did not have the right to determine their own future. Hakim Adi introduces us to Pan-Africanism and some of the key figures and organisations who campaigned against colonialism and racism before the outbreak of World War Two.
- Article by:
- Dr Deirdre Osborne
- Literature 1900–1950, Gender and sexuality
Una Marson – poet, playwright, editor, activist and broadcaster – published four collections of poetry between 1930 and 1945 while based in Jamaica and London. Dr Deirdre Osborne introduces major themes and concerns in Marson’s poetry, looking in particular at ‘The Poet’s Heart’ and ‘Little Brown Girl’.