Ask the Thunder
Publisher: Poetry Translation Centre
Featured poets: Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac ‘Gaarriye’
Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac ‘Gaarriye’ (1949–2012) is regarded as one of the most important Somali poets of the twentieth century. He composed on a wide variety of topics, from nuclear weapons to the nature of poetry. He was the initiator of the Deelley, a very famous 'chain' of poems by leading Somali poets in the 1970s and 1980s that were critical of the regime of Siad Barre. The book brings together some of his most beloved work and features the never previously translated poem ‘Watergate’, a coruscating indictment of global political corruption that seems all the more relevant today.
The book is one of the first to be re-issued and expanded in our new World Poet Series which showcases the most exciting living poets from Africa, Asia and Latin America in beautiful pocket-sized bilingual editions. The poems have been exquisitely translated into English by the acclaimed poet W.N. Herbert and translator Martin Orwin. Gaarriye’s work is introduced and expertly contextualised by Orwin, and Clare Pollard, the poet and editor of Modern Poetry in Translation, responds to the poems and their legacy in her afterword.