links for 2009-01-20

  • "After visiting the country in 1854 disguised as an Arab, British explorer and orientalist Richard Francis Burton wrote in First Footsteps in East Africa that Somalis were 'a fierce and turbulent race' — Burton had been badly wounded in an attack by Somali tribesmen — yet also a race of poets. 'It is strange that a dialect with no written character should so abound in poetry and eloquence,' he observed. 'The country teems with 'poets, poetasters, poetitos, and poetaccios:' every man has his recognized position in literature as accurately defined as though he had been reviewed in a century of magazines'"