Profile: Peter Jailall – Poet and Storeyteller – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Profile: Peter Jailall – Poet and Storeyteller – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine



Life is a story. If the mother of all literature is poetry then storytelling cannot be far behind. In fact some of the most loved poems are in the form of stories. They can soar the spirit to planets unknown and take one to the deep inner self. Consider Rumi, ‘You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.’

The classrooms have seen effective teachers use both poetry and storytelling as tools to explain the intricacies of language, to hold the attention of students and also to show how the moral of the story is relevant in a present-day context. Peter Jailall has used poems and stories in these settings with much success. He has combined poetry and storytelling in his native Guyana, Canada and the United States to bring to his audience the power of the written and spoken word.  

How did it all begin? Peter Jailall was born at La Jalousie on the West Coast of Demerara in Guyana. His dad was Moses Mahilal and his mom was Parbati. Mahilal grew up in Clonbrook while Parbati was from La Jalousie. The young Peter was raised at Dochfour near Clonbrook. He is the eldest of nine children. Dochfour was agricultural and Peter grew up close to the rice fields. He proudly describes himself as the son of a farmer but the family also placed emphasis on education. Peter attended Ann’s Grove RC School and then the Hindu College at Cove and John in 1957 and came under the influence of Swami Purnanandaji. 

Read more – Peter Jailall – Poet and Storeyteller – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

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