Somaliland: Chant for a Bookbinder


City Of Harar was Renowned for bookbinding skills2

Somalilandsun – Natty Mark of the African School pays tribute to the memory of Master Bookbinders Kebir Ali Shek , Abdela Sherif and Dr.Richard Pankhurst whose bookbinding skills, the city of Harar was renowned for in this poem below


Chant for a Bookbinder

Who will sing of the bookbinder?
Doyen of leather and hammer.
Encasing the words of God –
Beauty embracing beauty.

Abdella Sherif in his musuem1Who will sing of the bookbinder?
Oracle of vice and screw.
His workshop in ol’ Harar –
That metropolis of saints.

Who will sing of the bookbinder?
Savant of print and pattern.
Within the old walled city –
Protecting the hallowed text.

Last captain of the workshop,
Officer of the burning deck.
Though those skills are passing away,
Dying in the modern day;
I shall still chant the name –
Kebir Ali Shek.

© Natty Mark Samuels, 2015. African School.