‘Tekemechie’ by Yohannes Admasu
It’s Friday, as good a day as any for an incisive Amharic poem by Yohannes Admasu (1927-1975) about a man interrupted during the act of contemplation. He is sitting in a contemplative mood in a solitary room, listening to sad and melancholic music. A cigarette between his fingers, the smoke has become his companion, so he says. The music and the smoke set him in a mood to release his inner feelings, the echoes of the heart. The following lines convey cloudiness with references to blood and poison. While in the middle of that inner search, there came an unwelcome knock at the door. The beauty of the smoke and the rhythm of the music are brought to a standstill. I liked the poem because of the way it evokes the man’s inner search and celebrates contemplation, silence, solitude.