Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ghirmai Yohannes    Unjust Praise

In the beginning

The spirit moving

Upon the face of the waters

And in the breaking waves

Tasted salt

And I see fields of it

Drying on the shore.

We let in shallow lakes of sea

To evaporate,

And the salt

Accumulates along their edge

Thanks to the sunlight:

Crystal white,

Enough for everyone,

Harvested and sold

In every shop and on the roads:


In proper measure

Bringing out the taste,

The flavor and spirit

Of our food, hot or cold.

Why should pepper get

So much admiration

When salt does all the work?

Translated from the Tigrinya by Charles Cantalupo and Ghirmai Negash

Ghirmai Yohannes


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