Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ciddu Yey Didin – Maanso xisaabtan ah
From a Poet’s Pen:
By Bashir Goth

It may seem unbecoming for a poet to take pains to elucidate his work for the general reader. And I may absolutely agree with Robert Penn Warren who said: “The poet is in the end probably more afraid of the dogmatist who wants to extract the message from the poem and throw the poem away than he is of the sentimentalist who says, “Oh, just let me enjoy the poem.”

The poet, however, may be obliged to play the role of a critic in the absence of literary critics and in the presence of younger Somali immigrant population for whom the language of Somali poetry may look like gibberish and the imagery archaic.

This is unfortunately the plight of immigrant poets who write for a younger Somali speaking generation who find themselves so distant from their language and rich culture. Although art in general seems to be as endangered as Somali dugongs in today’s technology driven world, the high art of Somali poetry seems to have suffered a devastating blow as a result of the mass migration of the Somali people to the West.

Poetry is about the beauty of language and no matter whether one understands the words or the meaning the music alone always exudes beauty. As Carl Sandburg noted “poetry is the opening and closing of a door, leaving those who look through to guess what is seen during a moment”. I find it unfair to poetry to be left covered in a mist. I prefer to raise the curtain just enough to entice the readers to explore more by themselves. Therefore, unlocking the poem’s meaning will follow the text:

Hadduu canbar iyo

Illaa calankii

Taallo caaniyo

Caaqil weyn iyo

Uu ciiltire iyo

Ceeleeye ahaa

Sidii culaygii

Cidaad marsadoo

Aan ceebiba qaban


Gol cammiranuu
Ku caweeyiyo
Caadilku xareed
Firdowsa cawa leh
Ha ka cabbiyee
Cigaal dhimayoo...

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