19. januar 2009

Alt ein ikkje veit...

Ian Garrick Mason skriv interessant og opplysande om somalisk dikting på Sans Everything. Han siterer mellom anna Margaret Laurence, som likna den somaliske krigshøvdingen og diktaren Sayyīd Muhammad `Abd Allāh al-Hasan (1856-1920) med hellenske klassikarar:
“The sheer force and sweep of it is sometimes reminiscent of Homer,” she wrote, “whose subject was also tribal war and who described it in similar terms of drama, grandeur, and gore.” Her observation makes one wonder for a moment whether, when seen through the eyes of more powerful and more unified Mediterranean states, the feuding cities of pre-classical Greece might have looked something like Somalia does to us today, as a land of raiders, petty vendettas, and (as an aside) skillful oral poetry.
Meir oppsiktsvekkjande, men ikkje mindre gledeleg:
(...) in Somalia women’s poetry is not taken as seriously as men’s, and does not normally get memorized or recited beyond small groups of family or friends. Nonetheless, in 1992 they played a key role in averting a nascent civil war by interposing themselves between two sub-clans in Burao and reciting poems meant to tug at the consciences of their brethren. Within days, a ceasefire was achieved.

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