Eritrea’s pioneering Tigrinya poet Reesom Haile, 2001

Eritrea’s pioneering Tigrinya poet Reesom Haile, 2001

A Semitic language spoken in the Horn of Africa, Tigrinya has one of the longest poetic traditions in the world. Much of its poetry is oral, and recitation remains central to contemporary Eritrean culture. Reesom Haile modernized many oral forms and is among the first poets to be translated from Tigrinya into English. “Welcome to our language,” he wrote, “taste the sauce.”