Mongolian Poetry 09: Poems and Tears

This is an interpretation into the English language of a poem by the scholar-poet Zava Damdin (1976- ). The title in the Mongolian language and its Mongolian Cyrillic script is, “ШҮЛЭГ НУЛИМС ХОЁР”.


Poems and Tears

Tears dry on the cheek
Ink also dries on paper
Leaving no visible trace, tears dissolve and evaporate
Although ink’s writing can make an impression on people’s minds
Tears of the heart are difficult to dry
Many poems, I did not want to write
Whether you like it or not, they’re already inscribed on the heart
The tears of the heart, the inner ink

No need to even think about drying them
The more they don’t dry, the more meaningful they become
Here, there is nothing to regret
These are the unwritten poems
Although in any poem, the sound of each letter
Has its own value in tears

Written by a little finch on dragon mountain
Eleventh day of the White Moon month in The Year of the Dragon
Pure Land of Swoyambhu

Zava Damdin

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 27.02.2024 from the original Mongolian 21.02.2024


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version


Хацар дээр нулимс хатмуй
Цаасан дээр бэх ч бас хатмуй
Нулимс ором үгүй уусан ууршина
Бэхэн бичээс олны сэтгэл дор ор гаргамуй
Харин сэтгэлийн нулимс хатахуйяа бэрх
Бичихүйг хүсээгүй олон шүлэг
Хүссэн ч үгүй ч сэтгэл дор бичээстэй
Сэтгэлийн нулимс хэмээх нь дотоод бэх аж

Хатах ч үгүй хатаах гэж бодох ч хэрэг үгүй
Хатах үгүй тусмаа утга төгөлдөр уярах аж
Харамсах хэрэг үгүй зүйлс нь
Гадагш бичигдээгүй шүлэгүүд ажээ
Аливаа шүлгийн нэг үсэг авиа бүр дор
Нэжгээд нулимсны анзаа буй заа

Цогт уулын бялзуухай бээр бичив
Луу жилийн Цагаан Сарын шинийн арван нэгэн
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 Unpublished manuscript.  pp32-33. 



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: 29 March 2024. Last updated: 29 March 2024.