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           Mohamoud Abdi Shideh through the eyes of the Poet by Rhoda A. Rageh
    
    Hassan H. Abdullahi (Xasan Ganay) is a brilliant bard equal only to Shakespeare in eloquence and
    natural gift. He is equal only to Milton in his use of oxymoron and surpasses the sensitivity of
    Wordsworth. His superior intelligence enables him to draw from a vast reservoir of vocabulary,
    which is why his poetry touches the deepest feelings of humanity. His precise expression does not
    boast the gift of western education.
    He does not dwell on his knowledge of Greek and Latin nor draws from genres and conventions of ancient role models; rather he relies only on the basin of God given natural talent. He does not write or read. Therefore, his beautiful expression needs to be preserved for the longevity of the Somali language and cultivation of culture as well as to reserve his rightful place in history. A poet of his kind should not be forgotten. His western counterparts rest on their laurels as poet laureate.
    He is a Somali poet and like many before him, his poetry will be remembered only in fragments, which without his sensitivity will be rendered mere utterances unless something is done now. He is not only a Poet; he is also a Play-write who has written plays about every moment of our recent history. I have discovered the Poet few years ago quite by accident when in a stretch of boredom, I straightened a discarded, creased paper. Although the occasion of the poem I am about to discuss is sad, my encounter with the Poet was pleasurable and has since exhilarated my aesthetic sensibilities.
    The Poet eulogizes a mortal whose service he has hallowed. The name of the poem is Garab Daar. His strong intuition observes and enshrines the intuition of the deceased who he describes as one who had cultivated intuition through fine observation. Intuitive feelings and keen observation are as entangled here as the feelings of the poet and deceased.
    I divided the poem into stanza and in my own observation will try to point out the turns in the poem. The first stanza captures the Poet's sense of disbelief on the demise of his friend thus still keeps him alive at least in deed.

    Godka Hanadkii lagu riday Gurmadkiisi Aaskiyo Gogoshii Tacsiyihiyo Gabayda Baroorta ah Rag Intay gundhinayeen, Gurigayga kama bixin. Mana gabin halkaygee, Waxaa aan la gaabshee, Gadaal ii ridaa jirey, Geeddigaasi waa kow Guuraaoo hadana raray Goashiyo iyo xasuus ba leh.
    The Poet's physical absence from the services and wakes of the deceased is juxtaposed with his powerful feelings of loss. While some focus on the mundane rituals mourning the deceased; the Poet withdraws into himself and searches for his own sense of loss. Therefore, his absence is a presence in which he immortalizes the man in the grave. While some dig deep into the earth to hide his corpse, the Poet digs deep into his memory and brings out the immortal soul. The first stanza ends with a refrain by which the poet makes many turns. Memory embraces joyful past with painful present. He recollects the dark days of Siad Barre and their mission together.
    Gulufkiyo colaadii Innagiyo gumaystii, Gobanimo u dirirkii Raggii guuro bahallaha, Gaadmiyo badheedhkaba U guntaday dalkoodiyo, Inta goalka dhalisiyo, Gaashaan biruu haa Gocoshaiyo xasuusba leh
    The Poet leaves his feeling unattended like the hanging refrain that runs through the poem; hence epitomizes the loss of his friend and the loneliness of his feelings. The deceased national hero was a shield (one of many metaphors to characterize him) in the battle against Siad Barre. Characterization which continue to intensify in the following lines serves both as a tribute to his friend's courage and chides the temerity of his rivals.

    Wuxu gaadh ka hayn jirey, Danta Guud xilkeedoo. Waligii nin Guurtiya Gaf wuxuu ku raacaa Iyo wuu gardaran yahay Guubaabideediyo, Baaqiyo Guhaadiyo In la geeddi geliyiyo Hadba geesta dhawrta leh, In uu gudin u daabiyo In uu dhacan u gooyee, Gocor iyo Rifaa jira Raadkiisa gurayoo, Garbo la hadhsanaayiyo, Gebi baa dullamoo, Waxa dhacay gunweyniyo Geedkii xabriireed. Geesaaska fiintiyo Guumaysta taahdiyo Galowga iyo xiidkii Waxay giida la hayeen Danab lagu goblamayoo Galbaday ogaadeen Garabkii dugsoona . Gabayoox lal badaniyo Gabadanaa ka socotee Goobtii qaboobaa!! Markaan gudub jaleecaba Galiilyaa I qabatee, Geeridu xumaydee. Goblan talo aduunyooy Mrkuu geesi hoydaba Garshaaa u oydee Siduu gabaygi Cali yidhi, Waxan ahay geddiisee, Intuu gooni u laha Farta waxa ku godi jiray Inta gowska xeershiyo, Gurtan raaca liitee, Wuxu gudiyo Moxamuud Wuxuu galay intii ogi Gocoshiyo xusuusba leh.
    Endless metaphors cataloguing the brave qualities of the deceased confronting the fear of the cowardly bring the despondence of the Poet into a climax and culminate into blasphemy---disbelief in his own mortality. The name of the deceased is first mentioned here among many testaments to his personal integrity and his untarnished accomplishments. In a comparison between him and his opponents, Mohamoud's giant strides distance him from folly. He was a nationalist whose only purpose to serve his country was unequaled. In this sense, the soldier friend laments a partner. The Poet is the sole witness to the valor and knightly values of his compatriot.
    Gebigeed adduunyada Afarteeda geesood, Waxa geedan lagu yahay ama laysku gaasiray, Geeraar ka libintiyo, Gumaaradu haadeer tahay, Waa geedda saarka leh, Garoonada ciyaaraha, Gudaha iyo dibadaba Tiimkii Galaaskiyo Soo hooyay guulaha Gadhwadeen hogaashoo, Lagu gami jiruu haa. Goosh laga macaashiyo Ganacsi uma jeedine Geyiguu la rabay magac Gocoshiyo xusuusba leh
    Mohamoud's oratory and power of persuasion and his fine intuition were combined with his courage. His refine arbitration was always sought after and the delicate balance of his negotiation that have often lead to peaceful resolve were sorely missed. He was a hero who never flinched from standing by the truth.
    Goob laysku xaadhiyo Gole doodu kulushoo, Guul oomman lagu jiro Xaajaduna Gudubtoo, Geel daaqsintii iyo, Tagtay buuro guudkood, Waxaan doqni garanayn Fuluhuna ka gaabsaday, Giir layska kiciyiyo, Ishoo laysku guba iyo, Goolaaftankoodii inta Gaarka wax u raba, Ina shide Galgalashiyo, inuu gorada roag iyo, Muu aqoonin galowdee taladuu gedaankiyo, Girgirkeeda hayn jirey, jeeruu guddoonkiyo, guryo samo in lagu wado, Gocashiyo xusuusba leh
    In the following lines, The Poet's reminisce of the generosity of his friend renders him as a patron for the youth whose hospitality of unknown guests never burdened his soul. Many a time circumstances prevented the happy union of young lovers, were overcome by him, or poor homes whose inhabitants could not buy the bare necessities were nurtured by his kindness. He followed his intuition to where need was most acute and indiscriminately provided. He was willfully generous.

    Waxa guunyo caabuda, gudhanaha la caayee Alla gacan furaayee Marti fiid gab soo tidhi Subixiina kaa guday, Garriyow ma buuree, Intuu laba is guursaday Isku jecel gar iyo waaq Hayeeshee waqtigu gabay gabbashana ku kala jira Gol-dalooladooiyo, goortuu xogtii helay, Isagoon garnaba dayin nolosha u gardaadshuu Maalimogaaban dabadood Galbiyaay la yidhiyee Gaafkoodii laga tummay Rugtiina goolal lagu qalay Gocoshiyo xasuusba leh Intuu guri sabooloo, Gadan karin anfacadii, Gurboodkuuu la koriyiyo hadban guuf ku tuuriyo Gasiinkooda siin jirey Garab daarra ku lahaa Galabba kuu ka madhan yahay Gocoshiyo xusuusba leh Gaar ahaan barbaartuu Gashi inuu ka bixiyiyo Badhuu dibadda geeiyo Shaqo lagu gufeeyaba Gunna iyo ogaal iyo U gargaaridoodii Gocoshiiyo xasusba leh Goortii aad aragtaba Guutadii ku xeerrayd Googooska sheekada Siduu uga godlinayiyo Haasaawe gdobiyo Gujo iyo turxaan wadan Siduu ugu gedbixi jiray Sheeddana ka garan jirey Hadba kooda goolmoon Dadna ugu gudboonaa Isagoo an kala gurin Gocoshiyo xasuusba leh
    The death of a hero is felt only by the heroic. In these concluding lines, the Poet returns to God by realizing his own mortality in this flitting world. He accelerates the pace and the stanza gets shorter. Maybe his own transience sobers his sense of outrage at the beginning of the poem, which is now tamed by the acceptance of his own mortality. Mohmaoud was a mortal whose good qualities like him were transient. Yet, in a deserving salute, he addresses the deceased with a wonderful prayer that resolves the tension.
    Intaasoo gargaariyo Gobonimo u hiilkii Gacaltooyadiisii Waxab yaanan gocanine Haddii uu la gabax yidhi Maxamuud la galay iil, Guulaa wedka u qoray Amba gibil dhaqaaqoo Gilgishay damqaayee Seeftu way I guud taal. Giddigood addoomuhu Waa geeri sugayaal Geeddaana lagu yahay Guryihii runta ahaa Een laga gaboobayn Galbintiis Aammiin An ku soo gumeeyee Waxaan iga guddoontaa Godku faala ku noqay Gogoshii Jannada iyo Gudaheeda ku cawee Toddobaatan geeynyiyo Gabdho xuural cayn ahi Kaa salaame gaaddada Giddigii Islaamkaba Allhayow ha gayn naar.
    Hassan Ganay's poetic image takes the reader through many years of the life of the deceased and in a flashback takes account of his wonderful life that ends in the grave but which the Poet chooses to resurrect by the poem itself. By eulogizing his friend, he keeps his memory alive and hops to immortalize him. It is also wonderful to note how his own intuition tunes in with that of his friend. It is a wonderful poem, which had taken me through a roller coaster of emotions. The language is rich and full of poetic devices too long to discuss here. They are made more attractive by the fact that he does not have access to the conventions accessible to a learned poet. After all Poetry as Wordsworth advocated in 19th Century "is the distillation of powerful feeling."
      PS
    I would like to start a fund drive to enable Hassan Ganay publish all his work. For comments and further inquiry, please write to
    Rahmaa@yahoo.com
    Rhoda A. Rageh

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