Let the people of Ethiopia judge me. What happened to the 90-year-old mother? The anthology has a collection of Amharic poems that represents a small part of Ethiopian poetry. However, there is much more Ethiopian poetry that hasn't been discovered yet.
I talked to the editors and Mihret Kebede, one of the poets in the book Songs We Learn from Trees, about the anthology, translating Amharic poetry into English, and Ethiopia's active literary community.
I wanted to imitate Ethiopian poetry instead of writing poems in English about my experiences as a child in Ethiopia. So, I searched online and discovered a website called Debteraw, which is managed by Alemu and is devoted to Tsegaye Gebremedhin.
It was not the same Tsegaye Gebremedhin that I was searching for who is Ethiopia's poet laureate. However, I got to meet Alemu instead. A poem is more than just its meaning. Some poems are loud or emotional and it's hard to express the poet's feelings.
I wanted to have the original Amharic in the anthology or a CD that goes with it. Many of the poems in the book were first written in English, including the impressive poem "Just a Nobody" by Hama Tuma.
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