Gaarriye reciting his poem Fad Galbeed, in the 1980s (Source: Wikimedia Commons,  public domain)On 30 September 2012, Somali poet and political activist, Mohamed Hashi Dhamac (Somali: Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac) better known as Gaarriye died at a hospital in Norway. He is regarded as one of the most important Somali poets of the twentieth century.

Gaariye was born in Hargeisa in 1949. He attended school in Sheikh in Somaliland. After graduating with a degree in biology from the Somali National University, he worked as a teacher in various secondary schools. As a keen poet and literary scholar, he later joined the Academy of Culture in Mogadishu and worked as a lecturer in Somali literature at National University.

Gaariye was never afraid to engage in the politics of Somalia through his poetry. He was the initiator of one of the largest 'chain poems ''Deelley' to which over 40 poets contributed, each one alliterating in 'd' - hence the name of the chain.

Gaarriye also published the first analysis of the metrical system of Somali poetry in the national newspaper Xiddigta Oktoobar (October Star) in 1976.

Source: Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac ‘Gaarriye’ by Martin Orwin on poetrytranslation & Wikipedia

Selected publications

So at one with you : an anthology of modern poetry in Somali = Bulshoy Ma Is Baran Lahayn : Ururin Maansooyin Soomaali Ah Oo Waayahan Tisqaaday / W.N. Herbert; Said Jama Hussein. - Pisa, Italy : Ponte Invisible ; Hargeysa, Somaliland : Cultural Foundation ; London : The Poetry Translation Center Ltd. : Kayd Somali Arts and Culture, [2018]

Mahadho : Sooyaalkii iyo Waxqabadkii Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac 'Gaarriye' (1949-2012) / Cabdiraxmaan C. Faarax; Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac. - [Sweden] : Hal-aqoon Publishers, 2015

Waayo-sheeg : taariikhda iyo suugaanta Somaliland / Muusa Carab Obsiiye. - [Somalia?] : KAAH Publishers, January 2015

Hagarlaawe : diiwaanka maansooyinka / Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac. - Hargesya : Sagalet, 2013

Ilmadii hal-abuurka : maqaallo iyo maansooyin loogu baroor-diiqay : macallin Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac (Gaarriye), 1952kii-2012ka / Boobe Yuusuf Ducaale. - Hargeysa : Bobe Publications, 2013

Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac "Gaarriye" : biography and poems / Jama Musa Jama [et al.]. - Pisa, Italy : Ponte Invisible, 2012

Poems = Maansooyin / Dhamac, Maxamed Xaashi; W.N. Herbert; M. Orwin. - Chester Springs, PA : Enitharmon Press, 2008

An anthology of Somali poetry / B.W. Andrzejewski; Sheila Andrzejewski. - Bloomington, Ind. [etc.] : Indiana University Press, 1993

Somali poetry : an introduction / B.W. Andrzejewski; I.M. Lewis. - Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1964

Seer by Maxamed Xaashi Dhamac ‘Gaarriye’

The poem has been translated by WN Herbert and Martin Orwin. The poem is read first in English translation by WN Herbert and then in Somali by 'Gaarriye'. For more poems by 'Gaarriye' and other (Somali) poets, see the website of the Poetry Translation Centre.

Timeline of Somali poets