Solomon Deressa – Poet, Screenwriter and Essayist

2 mins read
Solomon Deressa was born in the highlands of Western Ethiopia  (Wollagga) during the Italo-Ethiopian war that covered the years  1935—1941. He missed being born in the then muddy little village that  was Addis Ababa by 1.4142… years and was born in the much littler hamlet of the more magical name of Chutta. Addis Ababa means New Flower. Good  luck. Solomon claims, “Since plastic flowers were, alas! not yet  available, and Monet’s Water Lilies were not yet painted, and if they  had been, were not yet known to Abyssinians, the name of the Ethiopian  capital, owed and still owes, its double-barreled ostentation more to  arrogance than to the almost non-existent Ethiopian’s predilection for  euphony or proclivity for descriptive accuracy.” Solomon says that the  fore-going statement applies only to Ethiopian poetry. As proof of the  accuracy of his claim, he challenges you to pick up the CD Gigi and  listen. If you understand Amharic, Gigi will blow your mind. Solomon is a contentious 75 years old who stays out of trouble by keeping humans and territorial dogs at a distance. He has a hard time taking the poems he  writes seriously. Anyway, his secret ambition was to participate in the  creation of an Ethiopian media (at the time radio and television) that  would be worthy of any worthy nation that speaks dozens of language, not to write poems. He took refuge in America when he realized that his  Marxist age-mates and the military could not be trusted farther than he  could then toss a shot-put. 38 years later, he still feels certain that  he made the right decision. There is a river that flows into a large  body of seeming water that esoteric geographers call Anguish. Solomon  thinks that the littleboat, the land of his birth, aka Ethiopia/Eritrea, has been and still is blithely riding the high waves to Anguish. He  does not like reading poetry; he enjoys being read to because it tends  to douse anguish.

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