The crowd was brought to tears by the poetry of Zewd Aklil and Misrak Terefe. Ethiopia is home to a large number of talented poets who publish books of their work. Except for a few Ethiopians who reside in the United States and Europe, very few people outside of Ethiopia are aware of their work.
Ethiopian poems are not commonly seen in books of African poetry. Ethiopian poetry that has been translated into English or other languages is uncommon. We struggle because we were never colonized, a poet in Addis Abeba reportedly remarked.
This is a crucial point: Ethiopia has always done things it’s way, and its poets’ assurance reflects this. They adhere to a variety of customs that have evolved through hundreds of years from numerous ethnic groups.