The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper
Abdourahman A. Waberi
Translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson
5 x 8.5 inches, 96pp. April 2015
ISBN : 9780857422385
Rs 495.00 (HB)
Few of us have had the opportunity to visit Djibouti, the small crook of a country strategically located in the Horn of Africa, which makes The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper all the more seductive. In his first collection of poetry, the critically acclaimed writer Abdourahman A. Waberi writes passionately about his country’s landscape, drawing for us pictures of “desert furrows of fire” and a “yellow chameleon sky.” Waberi’s poems take us to unexpected spaces—in exile, in the muezzin’s call, and where morning dew is “sucked up by the eye of the sun—black often, pink from time to time.”
Translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Waberi’s voice is intelligent, at times ironic, and always appealing. His poems strongly condemn the civil wars that have plagued East Africa and advocate tolerance and peace. In this compact volume, such ideas live side by side as a rosary for the treasures of Timbuktu, destroyed by Islamic extremists, and a poem dedicated to Edmond Jabès, the Jewish writer and poet born in Cairo.
“With Waberi, the juxtapositions—surprising, provocative, and original—form a good part of the thrill themselves.”—Words Without Borders
The French-Djiboutian novelist, poet and essayist Abdourahman A. Waberi is one of the leading francophone writers of his generation. His other books include The Land Without Shadow, Harvest of Skulls and Rifts, Roads and Rails.
Nancy Naomi Carlson is a winner of grants from the NEA, Maryland Arts Council and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Author of three award-winning non-translated titles, she is also the author of Stone Lyre: Poems of René Char (2010).