Bards Of Somalia, The

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20100822What could Britain learn from Somalia - a country where poetry is nothing less than the main means of cultural communication?|Portrayed abroad as a land beset by gunmen, pirates and famine, it is also known by those who live there as a Nation of Poets.|Somalia had no written language until 1972 and poetry has always been the country's core form of mass communication - whether the spoken word or, more recently, via cassettes and radios.|Verse has, in many areas, taken the place of history books, newspapers and television as the main means of spreading news and comment.|Poets who have real skill - the true bards - have the power to shape current events and receive both social and political privileges.|Can we integrate any of these elements into British poetry? Instead of one Laureate, should we have hundreds of bards reflecting the diversity of our nation - people we can turn to for everything from the poetic equivalent of a Times leader to the latest gossip around the parish pump? Can poetry be integrated into our daily lives as successfully as in Somalia?|In discussion with presenter Rageh Omaar, poets from the Somali community in Britain and expert translators wonder if - through the medium of everything from the spoken word to text messaging - Somalia's bards might provide the germ of a new form of information sharing in Britain.|Producer: Neil Cargill|A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.|Rageh Omaar asks what Britain can learn from Somalia's news-reporting poets.
20100822What could Britain learn from Somalia - a country where poetry is nothing less than the main means of cultural communication?|Portrayed abroad as a land beset by gunmen, pirates and famine, it is also known by those who live there as a Nation of Poets.|Somalia had no written language until 1972 and poetry has always been the country's core form of mass communication - whether the spoken word or, more recently, via cassettes and radios.|Verse has, in many areas, taken the place of history books, newspapers and television as the main means of spreading news and comment.|Poets who have real skill - the true bards - have the power to shape current events and receive both social and political privileges.|Can we integrate any of these elements into British poetry? Instead of one Laureate, should we have hundreds of bards reflecting the diversity of our nation - people we can turn to for everything from the poetic equivalent of a Times leader to the latest gossip around the parish pump? Can poetry be integrated into our daily lives as successfully as in Somalia?|In discussion with presenter Rageh Omaar, poets from the Somali community in Britain and expert translators wonder if - through the medium of everything from the spoken word to text messaging - Somalia's bards might provide the germ of a new form of information sharing in Britain.|Producer: Neil Cargill|A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.|Rageh Omaar asks what Britain can learn from Somalia's news-reporting poets.
20100828What could Britain learn from Somalia - a country where poetry is nothing less than the main means of cultural communication?|Portrayed abroad as a land beset by gunmen, pirates and famine, it is also known by those who live there as a Nation of Poets.|Somalia had no written language until 1972 and poetry has always been the country's core form of mass communication - whether the spoken word or, more recently, via cassettes and radios.|Verse has, in many areas, taken the place of history books, newspapers and television as the main means of spreading news and comment.|Poets who have real skill - the true bards - have the power to shape current events and receive both social and political privileges.|Can we integrate any of these elements into British poetry? Instead of one Laureate, should we have hundreds of bards reflecting the diversity of our nation - people we can turn to for everything from the poetic equivalent of a Times leader to the latest gossip around the parish pump? Can poetry be integrated into our daily lives as successfully as in Somalia?|In discussion with presenter Rageh Omaar, poets from the Somali community in Britain and expert translators wonder if - through the medium of everything from the spoken word to text messaging - Somalia's bards might provide the germ of a new form of information sharing in Britain.|Producer: Neil Cargill|A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.|Rageh Omaar asks what Britain can learn from Somalia's news-reporting poets.
20100828What could Britain learn from Somalia - a country where poetry is nothing less than the main means of cultural communication?|Portrayed abroad as a land beset by gunmen, pirates and famine, it is also known by those who live there as a Nation of Poets.|Somalia had no written language until 1972 and poetry has always been the country's core form of mass communication - whether the spoken word or, more recently, via cassettes and radios.|Verse has, in many areas, taken the place of history books, newspapers and television as the main means of spreading news and comment.|Poets who have real skill - the true bards - have the power to shape current events and receive both social and political privileges.|Can we integrate any of these elements into British poetry? Instead of one Laureate, should we have hundreds of bards reflecting the diversity of our nation - people we can turn to for everything from the poetic equivalent of a Times leader to the latest gossip around the parish pump? Can poetry be integrated into our daily lives as successfully as in Somalia?|In discussion with presenter Rageh Omaar, poets from the Somali community in Britain and expert translators wonder if - through the medium of everything from the spoken word to text messaging - Somalia's bards might provide the germ of a new form of information sharing in Britain.|Producer: Neil Cargill|A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.|Rageh Omaar asks what Britain can learn from Somalia's news-reporting poets.