“Let’s met for sene 30” poet Rediet Terefe

This article describes the publication and translation (together with linguistic and philological notes) of a recently discovered work of Old Amharic poetry, possibly from the first half or middle of the seventeenth century. The composition has been published under the title Märgämä kbr (“Condemnation of Glory”), but its content is different from many other Old Amharic poetry of the same name (but not wholly independent from one another). The universal premise and underlying themes of all Märgämä kbr poetry are the fleeting nature of the earthly world, the certainty of death and God’s judgment, and the necessity of leading a virtuous life. Märgämä kbr, which was used to address the Christian community with the aim of religious education and admonition of laypeople, can thus be considered a unique genre of early Amharic writing. It is most likely descended from oral literature. However, we are still gathering data, so each new text in an older variety of Amharic is important and valuable and can lead to a revision of current views. The overall number of known texts bearing witness to the early stages of the Amharic language and early Amharic literature has been steadily increasing in recent years.

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