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For example, well-known twentieth-century poets Tsegaye Gabre Medhin and Solomon Deressa wrote or translated their own English poetry. Some of Ethiopia’s many exiled poets, like as Hama Tuma, share this viewpoint. Ethiopian poetry, which has survived for years in its own proud highland bubble, has reached a watershed moment! When I first saw The Penguin Book of Modern African Poetry in 2002, I was surprised, then outraged, to learn that no Ethiopian poets were included. “We suffer from never having been colonized,” Ethiopians would cynically proclaim, and there is a grain of truth in this dreadful witicism. In the 1960s, I grew up in Addis Abeba, but it wasn’t until I started writing Ethiopia Boy that I realized how little English-language translations of Ethiopian literature existed. On the other hand, the majority of literary translations from European languages to Amharic are still done this way. The fundamental building block of Amharic poetry in its original form is a rhymed couplet of two twelve-syllable lines with a break in the midst, similar to an alexandrine. Poets create, depart, and return on this foundation. Because Amharic is an inflected language, it rhymes far more easily than English.

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