Mongolian Poetry 10: Reflection

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, “Тусгал”.



In your eyes, a river’s reflection
On the river’s reflection, an image of the moon
The moon’s image is reflected in your thoughts
In your thoughts, a reflection of my image

In your ears, resonates a melodious melody
This melodious melody melts into clarinet notes
The clarinet notes touch your hearing
Your hearing is touched by my songs

In your heart, lands a holy dream
In the holy dream, an elusive figure
The elusive figure lands upon your feelings
In your feelings, my poems land

Hero’s Capital

Zava Damdin

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 17.04.2023 from the original Mongolian 15.04.2023


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version


Таны мэлмийд туссан гол мөрөн
Гол мөрөнд туссан сарны дүрс
Сарны дүрсэнд туссан таны бодрол
Таны бодролд туссан миний дүрс

Таны сонорт дуурсагдсан эгшиглэнт аялгуу
Эгшиглэнт аялгуунд хөглөгдсөн цоорын даралт
Цоорын даралтад хүрсэн таны сонор
Таны сонорт хүрсэн миний дуулал

Таны зүрхэнд буусан гэгээн зүүд
Гэгээн зүүдэнд буусан баригдашгүй дүрс
Баригдашгүй дүрсэнд буусан таны мэдрэмж
Таны мэдрэмжид буусан миний шүлэг

Баатарын балгад
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 Unpublished manuscript.  pp34-35. 



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: 30 March 2024. Last updated: 30 March 2024.