Meskot salutes the Ethiopian poet Debebe Seifu. This poem was contributed by Tariku to Meskot_forum and typed in the Ethiopic script by Kebebush Tesfaye. Yebirhan fikire(Debebe Seifu poem). 67 likes. Book. Debebe Seifu “YeBirhan Fikir”E.C. Fan Recommended Poem.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Berhanu Matthews, without whose consistent advice and suggestions this work would not have been completed. Review of Related Literature 9 2. The Concept of theme in Poetry 9 2. Critical Articles 10 2. Literary Anthologies 12 2. Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies 13 2.

The Theme of Praise and Criticism 56 4. The term early period is used in this paper to refer to the period to E.

Remembering Assistant Professor Poet Debebe Seifu

During this period, Ethiopian poetry in English appeared in different publications. The reason for choosing this period is that it is during this period that Ethiopian poetry in English flourished. And the reason for discussing this topic is that this subject has not been given enough attention in research. So, this study has focused on the study of the thematic concerns of the poems.

Moreover, this was the period when the pioneer Ethiopian poems in English emerged and this period is the time when established poets of later time appeared. Different methods have been used to study the major themes of the English poems of the period.

First, poems were collected. Then the poems have been read and classified under the major subject areas. Then the most recurrent themes were identified. After that through the analysis the most recurrent themes were identified and discussed. The study has revealed that Ethiopian poems in English during the period in focus deal with two major themes.

The two major themes are the theme of certain aspects of human life and the theme of praise appreciation and criticism. Poems that deal with aspects of human life reflect issues like death, laments for the dead, love, hope, and hopelessness. There are several poems that depict this theme and they are studied under this section.

The other major theme, the theme of praise and criticism, reflects issues like praise of Ethiopia and criticism of the educated African. Poems that deal with Ethiopia often praise the country as a whole or deal with the unique features of the country.

The poems that concentrate on the theme of criticism, criticize the educated African and focus on the issue of Pan Africanism. On the whole, Ethiopian poetry in English written during the period to E. C was concerned with certain aspects of life and issues related to the criticism of the educated Africa and Pan African concerns.

The main reason for focusing on Ethiopian poetry in English is that this area of literary practice has not been given enough attention to be studied in detail. Except two research papers and a few articles, we do not find other studies on Ethiopian poetry in English. The other reason for conducting this study on Ethiopian poetry in English is the growing tendency of Ethiopians to write poems in English. English poems by Ethiopian writers are still being published in increasing number especially in recently developed magazines and newspapers.


This study particularly focuses on the themes of the poems written from to E. C, which can be considered as the early stage of Ethiopian poetry in English. It is considered as an early stage because it is at this period that Ethiopian poetry in English appeared in publications. Thus the study tries to discuss the major issues and concerns of the poems of this period by analyzing some selected poems of the time in English. The reason for choosing this period is that, first of all, this is the period when Ethiopian poetry in English appeared in significant number.

So, the study can show at least one aspect and state of early stage of Ethiopian poetry in English. Due to these reasons this study focuses on the stated period. Moreover, this is also a period when a number of Ethiopian poems in English were published.

The poems bring up various issues of national and international concern. The issues that the poems concentrate on gave an impetus to study the themes of these poems. And especially the recurrent subject matters that have been depicted through the poems invite one to focus on the major themes of the poems of this period. Moreover it could be a reference to those who want to do research in this area.

To study the major themes of pomes written from to E. C, various methods have been used.

Debsbe of all, different poems written during this period were collected, read and classified according to their recurrence of themes. Then for the analysis of major themes, poems that are most representative under each theme were selected and drbebe. While analyzing the poems, in some cases lines of the analyzed poems that are believed to depict the central idea are quoted. In such cases the entire poem will be provided in the appendix.

When the entire poem is necessary, the whole poem is included as part of the study. This study has four chapters. The first chapter presents a general overview of the beginning of Ethiopian poetry in English. In debebbe part an attempt debeb be made to make a survey of earlier poetic works and factors that contributed to the beginning of poetic literature in English in Ethiopia.

The second chapter presents a review of related literature in the area of the study. In this section, the concept of theme in poetry will be considered and studies that have relationship with the present study will be examined.

Chapter three and chapter four discuss the major themes in Ethiopian poetry in English. The concluding chapter will summarize the highlights of the study.

Ethiopian poetry in English is part and parcel of Ethiopian creative writings in English. English creative writings by Ethiopians include fiction, drama and poetry. But the production of literature in English is quite limited compared to literature in Amharic, seitu national language of Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia when we think of written literature we find that the bulk of it is in the Amharic language. It is after a long tradition of Amharic literature that Ethiopian literature in English came to the scene. Some researchers like Beerwho looked into the English literary activity of this country argue that Ethiopian literature in English is an outcome of the past decade or so. When did this literature appear in Ethiopia?


Why is this literary tradition a recent development? What makes this literature come out at this time? What are the pioneering works? What are the dominant issues in this type of literature? These and other related questions will be considered in this chapter with special reference to poetry.

There are various factors that contributed to the beginning of Ethiopian literature in English. These factors can be put into three categories. These are historical, educational and publicity factors. Historically the country’s earlier relationship with foreign countries contributed to the development of literature in foreign languages.

This activity was specially intensified in the twentieth century during the reign of Emperor Haileselassie E. Cwho is sometimes called, ” the modernizer of Ethiopia. Most of the literary outcomes after this relationship have a sense of vision for a modern new Ethiopia.

For instance, the first Amharic novel called “Tobia” was published after this interaction. The beginning of the printing press in E. C has also contributed to the development.

This historical factor brought about educational practice, which is another factor for the appearance of Ethiopian literature in English.

Remembering Assistant Professor Poet Debebe Seifu

Those countries, which had diplomatic contacts with Ethiopia, had also brought some form of educational strategy to this country. The opening of different missionary schools was a result of the diplomatic contact Ethiopia had with some foreign counties.

Due to the introduction of a foreign system of instruction to this country, languages such as French, Italian and English were began to be taught at different grade levels. Most of the teachers were Copts from Egypt. The involvement of more foreign instructors was one basic reason for using foreign languages as a medium of instruction.

As a result, language subjects started dominating the educational system. During the reign of Haile Selassie I, a more profound poes system was established. Many Ethiopians also went abroad for higher learning. After the Italian occupation seifk a British staff came to Ethiopia and gradually the British became influential in the country.

As a result, ” the heads of schools in Seiru Ababa powms important advisors in the Ministry seiifu education were British. C, For this reason, the medium of instruction became English. After words English was accepted as, ” aeifu official foreign language of the country. Owing to this, at that time, the proficiency of foreign language, especially English was markedly increasing.

Because more emphasis was given to the teaching of this foreign language; ” The modernization process which began to transform the public image of the state called for the rapid training of pupils sufficiently fluent in foreign languages.

One of the greatest achievements of the modern education in the history of this country is the establishment of the University College of Addis Ababa in E. With the opening of the university tremendous changes came. Young Ethiopians found a chance of higher learning in their own country.