When Sir Richard Burton visited Somalia in 1854, he was immediately impressed by the inhabitants' love of poetry. He reported: "The country teems with poets ...the fine ear of this people causes them to take the greatest in harmonious sounds and poetical expressions, where a false quantity or a prosaic phrase excite their violent indignation." The love of poetry among Somalis has continued to this day, the majority of it still in an oral tradition. This sample presents the best of that poetry from the late 19th Century to the present. The poets presented are: Raage Ugaas, Xirsi Garaad Faarax 'Wiilwaal', Cali Bucu Axmed-Guray Maxamed Cabdille, Faarax Cad, Qawdhan Ducaale, Cali Jaamac Haabiil, Maxamed Cabdille Xasan, Xuseen Maxamuud Faarax, 'Xuseen Dhigle', Ismaaciil Mire, Saahid Qamaam, Qamaan Bulxan, Nuur Ugaas Rooble, Cilmi Bowndheeri, Faarzx Shuuriye, Cumar Xuseen 'Ostreeliya', Muuse Xaaji Ismaaciil Galaal, Maxamed Good 'Shimbir', Cali Sugulle, Xasan Sheekh Muumin, Axmed Ismaaciil Diiriye 'Qaasim', and Maxamed Ibraahiim 'Hadraawi'.
There are appendixes covering the oral and written medium, the pronunciation of Somali words, alliteration and scansion, selected bibliography, and sources.show more