I met someone who was in a jolly mood, delighted and excited over a book of proverbs I had sold him. He loved it and was completely knocked over by it as he recited a few to me. And so it has been a little long since this letter should have been written.
It was such a glorious opportunity for me, not only to read but also promote the publication, “A plate of Guyana cook-up” put together by one of our foremost folklorists exponent, the incomparable A A Fenty.
Believe me dear reade,r this 65-page publication is a masterpiece, no playing, this booklet measuring no more than 6×5 inches is a handy, easy to take around book that ought to be in the possession of every reading person and every Guyanese home.
A A Fenty should be commended much for producing such a unique and historical aspect of our culture, ensuring that it not only remains preserved- dormant and unseen, but stays actively alive informing and influencing our daily existence. The dynamism of our rich proverbs which nothing can supplant is the wisdom of our forefathers, passing through the veins of time, vibrating, stimulating and guiding us, which we knowingly or unknowingly are goaded by. They are gems to treasure.
These proverbs represent the incisive and penetrating thoughts of our own philosophers.
But Fenty is no stranger to these types of works, and of course our proverbs are inexhaustible, and indeed, it was of interest to hear him say that this booklet will be revised, updated and expanded for schools and overseas outlets, “this is just the first serving”. There are many more publications of similar nature to come: “Unsung Heroes”, “Calypso in Guyana”,etc.
A plate of Guyana cook-up, if I am allowed a bit of latitude here, I’ll say is truly a satisfying delicious belly full, that energizes the brain, relaxes, enlivens and amuses; thus the richer we are because of it.
They are very profound life experiences. They unfold in all forms and nuances, every facet in their fullness thereof. For me there are too many good ones, but I love “spiteful man put pepper in E mouth fuh blow dust out E mattie eye”. Yet for all this Fenty is humble and hesitant
to accept deserving credits and accolades. As Margaret Lawrence in her “An Appreciation“ to the book states: A A is too modest as he does this important task of being an enabler of learning, presenting us with a cross-section of proverbs, meaning of place-names…
……and further, “A plate of Guyana cook-up” makes you proud to be Guyanese as you relive the memories and enjoy your history”.
Fenty has performed here by this publication the role of a cultural ambassador.