Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An Ethiopian hero: Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (1936 - 2006)

Richard Pankhurst writes about Ethipian writer and poet, the late Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin on Open Democracy:

"Tsegaye was no less insistent that Britain should return the manuscripts, crosses, tents and other loot taken – unjustly, as he saw it, from Emperor Tewodros's mountain citadel of Magdala in 1868. Much of this loot is currently in the British Museum and British Library, as well as in Britain's Royal Library in Windsor Castle, which currently holds six remarkably finely illustrated Ethiopian manuscripts."

It looks right
It looks left
It forgets to look into its own self:
The broken yoke threatens to return
Only, this time
In the luring shape
Of luxury and golden chains
That frees the body
And enslaves the mind.

There are more poems by Tsegaye on a website devoted to history, art and culture of Ethiopia.