Mongolian Poetry 11: Legendary Beings

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, “Домогт Бодгалиуд”.

Legendary Beings

Knowing victory, yet living so humbly
Victorious beings, forever wonderful
In the face of defeat, still wrestling honestly
Courageous-hearted ones, so wonderful

With the prospect of meeting, going with anticipation
Clever beings, so warm-hearted
With knowledge of not meeting, yet still going to greet again
Melodious-hearted ones, so beautiful

Knowing how to live well, but not proudly
Vast-minded beings, so much wisdom
Knowing that one is going to die, yet still smiling
Such miraculous beings, have great meaning

Hero’s Capital

Zava Damdin

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 17.04.2023 from the original Mongolian 13.04.2023


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version

Домогт Бодгалиуд

Ялахаа мэдсэн ч даруухан оршдог
Ялгуусан бодгаль ашид гайхамшигтай
Ялагдахаа мэдсэн ч шулуухан тэмцдэг
Яруухан бодгаль илүү гайхамшиг

Учрахаа мэдсэн ч догдлон явдаг
Ухаантан тэрбээр ялгуун зүрхтэй
Уулзахгүйгээ мэдсэн ч мэндлэхээр зорчдог
Уянгалаг тэрбээр үлэмж яруу

Амьдрахаа мэдсэн ч бардам үгүй
Агуужим төрөлхийтэн машид билигтэй
Үхэхээ мэдсэн ч инээмсэглэн байх
Үйзэн төрөлхийтэн агуу утгатай

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 Unpublished manuscript.  pp24-25. 



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.