Dugsi girl contains a lot of poems that address a young girl's desire. It is rich with details about living in Somalia, in Morocco as a refugee and in Vermont where Edil Hassan attended college. An example of Edil Hassan's poetry is found online at Poetry Foundation titled Ghazal. Ghazal shows a mix of American style simplification in the syntax of the poem and rich Arab details. It is written as a series of two-line stanzas but isn't formalized as a ghazal. It doesn't mar the meaning in any fashion but gives the reader an idea about how her poetry is constructed. In Dugsi Girl, she maintains more formal meter but the song like quality of both comes through as the poetry is read aloud.
My favorite of the chapbook is "Febbraio 1986", a poem about watching her mother with a man who isn't her father because it is before her mother marries. The experience must have been surprising for a young girl, but she follows along in the sensuality her mother demonstrates with the man, rather than evaluate or judge what is happening. An example stanza is as follows:
Lately your mother catches mouthfuls of frankincense.
Crushes cinnamon bark between her teeth, her breath
This ability to set aside her immediate emotions and follow others enriches her poetry. This ability to play with time and place is why one of her poems is titled "Dugsi Girl versus Time Travel". She often combines what she is feeling in a given moment, to some other occasion in another place. I expect to see her write much more poetry in the future with equal depth and richness of experience.
Writing Assignment: Write about watching your mother using two line stanzas
I've included a Youtube of a Somalian girl dancing after attending school to learn the Koran, Dugsi below to get an idea of the culture--clothing, music, etc.