"’…it is a common, if amusing, thing," [Somali scholar Said Sheikh] Samatar wrote, "to come upon a group of nomads huddled excitedly over a short-wave transistor, engaged in a heated discussion of the literary merits of poems that have just been broadcast while they keep watch over their camel herds grazing nearby.’"
-Tamela Hultman, Somalia, A Nation of Poets, African News Service
To say that Somali people love a good poem is a gross understatement. Historically, poetry has been at the center of Somali culture. Used as a means to preserve oral history; to tease a friend; to disperse news and information; to protest, wage or end wars; poetic verse has defined this country and culture for centuries.
Read Tamela Hultman’s
brief but fascinating article
about poetry’s role in Somali culture:
It may inspire you to order a copy of An Anthology of Somali Poetry by Bogumil W. Andrzejewski and Sheila Andrzejewski."