Mongolian Poetry 02: A Plum is Blossoming

This is an interpretation into the English language of one of Zava Damdin’s poems. In the Mongolian language and its Mongolian Cyrillic script, the title is “Буйлс Цэцэглэж Буй”.

“For me, whether in English or Mongolian or described as ‘doha’, they are the same. My thinking is that compassion has no borders between people. What I want to say, I say in poems. My inner voice is there.” (ZDR, 23 March 2024).

A Plum is Blossoming

Where you are, plum trees are blooming
Where I am, a snowstorm brings together Earth and Sky
But my inner garden is overflowing, with plum blossoms and all comforting flowers
In a warm lake that never freezes, an assembly of flourishing lotuses smile

Your homeland is brushed by the ocean’s warm breeze
A wrathful storm rages across the steppe in mine
But the melodious soft wind of my inner ocean caresses my heart
I feel even the breath of those faraway swans twittering in my heart’s calyx

In your country, a forest of juniper incense trees gracefully unveils its leaves
In my country, sand dunes rise up passionately and wrathfully dance
Whilst external appearances are so, my inner garden remains fragrant
Even the beautiful way a legendary wish-fulfilling tree grows is so miraculous!

Pure Land of Swoyambhu

Zava Damdin

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 27.03.2023 from the original Mongolian 21.03.2023.


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version

Буйлс Цэцэглэж Буй

Чиний байгаа газар буйлс аль хэдийн цэцэглэж буй ажээ
Миний байгаа газар цасан шуурга тэнгэр газрыг нийлүүлэх мэт байнам
Гэвч дотоод сэтгэлийн цэцэглигт буйлс гаварын цэцэгс бүгд буй
Бүр үл хөлдөгч бүлээн нууранд нь лянхуан чуулган мөшилзөн байнам

Чиний байгаа нутагт далайн салхи дулаахан сэвэлзэн буй ажээ
Миний байгаа нутагт тал нутгийн догшин шуурга эрчлэн байнам
Тийн боловч дотоод сэтгэлийн далайн зөөлөн  салхи аялгуу илбэн буй
Тэртээх алсын хун шувуудын амьсал ч зүрхний цоморлигт ганганан байнам

Чиний байгаа оронд арц хүжсийн ой шугуй навчлан гунхалзах аж
Миний байгаа оронд элсэн манхан угалзлан босч үймцэн бүжиж байнам
Гадаад үзэгдэлд тийн авч дотоод зүрхний цэцэглиг үргэлжид анхилан байнам
Галбир зандан галбарваасан хүртэл домгийн мэт үзэсгэлэнтэй буй

Соёмбот Орон

Зава Дамдин




A Bilingual Collection of Zava Damdin (1976- ) Poetry. Vol. 1 (2021-2024). The Zava Damdin Sutra and Scripture Institute Library Archive, Manjushri Temple Soyombot Oron, Mongolia. Unpublished manuscript. pp2-3.



Excluding the preparatory training and clarity of narrative structure and ideation required, the journey of such compositions tends to move through three phases, starting with: (i) the creation of the original composition with the vertical Mongol Bichig Script; (ii) the subsequent transfer and rendering of this transcript into the Mongolian Cyrillic Script; and then on to, (iii) a (British) English language interpretation, such as you see here. I bring to this interpretive exercise my own particular collection of English language narrative skills and their imagined audiences. From this perspective, a final English language version of a narrative emerges as a negotiated text.

Translation is always an interpretation into another culture.



In keeping with ethical scholarly research and publishing practices and the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, I anticipate that anyone using or translating into another language all or part of this article and submitting it for accreditation or other purpose under their own name, to acknowledge this URL and its author as the source. Not to do so, is contrary to the ethical principles of the Creative Commons license as it applies to the public domain.

end of transcript.

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© 2013-2024. CP in Mongolia. This post is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. Posted: 24 March 2024. Last updated: 24 March 2024.