Category Archives: Mongolian Poetry

Mongolian Poetry 14: Itself a Poem

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,”Өөрөө Шүлэг”.


Itself a Poem

Beautiful-minded one seated deep in thought, itself a poem
Clear, wise minded one’s melodious and meaningful speech, itself a poem
Even that delightful true-hearted one, just simply sitting, itself a poem
Missing someone far away in a sighing way, itself a poem

The wind blowing paired with thinking, itself a poem
Meeting a soulmate, unplanned and instinctual, itself a poem
Kept in the heart, such clear memories of times past, itself a poem
Nasal septum’s painful cry for something, itself a poem

My heart never strays from my kind-hearted father, a lifelong poem
My ageing mother is boiling milk tea and offering a full bowl, itself a poem
Imagining myself as a leading supreme and superior being, just a poor me-myself poem
When one finds their true path, and is unwavering on their way forward, such a melodic poem!

A still lake’s mirror-like reflection of the Moon’s appearance, a complete poem
Heroic dakini in lightening’s flash and thunder, herself a poem
Courageous and undaunted, never relinquishing one’s way of life, a living poem
Great hearted one, sitting in dhyani undistracted, an incomparable poem

Countless vast galaxies exist in a poem’s stanza
Recognising the delusion and then enduring it, itself a poem
Just finding and realising the pure way, such a melodious poem
Having passed into clear light, my grand Gurus became a forever poem

Pure Land of Swoyambhu

Zava Damdin

The end of the winter month of the Year of the Tiger is now closed.

Translated by Zava Damdin and C.Pleteshner
English interpretation 20.02.2023 from the original Mongolian 20.02.2023



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 Unpublished manuscript.  pp22-23.


 Mongolian Cyrillic Text Version

Өөрөө Шүлэг

Сайхан сэтгэлтэн бодлогошрон суух ану өөрөө шүлэг
Саруул мэргэн ухаантан яруу утгыг өгүүлэх инү өөрөө шүлэг
Саахь ялдамхан үнэн зүрхтэн зүгээр суух ану хүртэл өөрөө шүлэг
Санаа алдан алсад буй нэгнийг санах ану өөрөө шүлэг

Салхины исгэрээн бодолтой хослох ану өөрөө шүлэг
Санамсаргүй учирсан тэр нэгэн бодгаль өөрөө шүлэг
Санаанд тодхон үлдсэн тэртээ он цагийн дурсамж өөрөө шүлэг
Самсаа шархиран юунд ч юм уйлах ч бас өөрөө шүлэг

Санаанаас хэзээ ч гарахгүй сайхан аав мину тэр чигээрээ шүлэг
Сааль сүүгээрээ чанасан цайгаа аягалан барих настай ээж мину шүлэг
Сартваахь бодисунаар өөрийгөө төсөөлөх өчүүхэн хөвүүн би өөрөө шүлэг
Сац чин сэтгэлийг олоод хувирш үгүй явах ану аялгуут сайхан шүлэг

Сарны дүрс нуурын толион дээр тусах ану тэргэл шүлэг
Сацрах гэрэлтэй баатарлаг дагина хатагтай тэр бээр шүлэг
Сааршгүй их зоригтон аливаад ажрал үгүй орших ану шүлэг
Сатаарал үгүй дияанд саатах агуу зүрхтэн тэр бээр адилгүй шүлэг

Сансар огторгуйн орчил бүр шүлгийн бадаг хэмээлтэй
Саар мууг таньж мэдээд тэвчиж чадах ану өөрөө шүлэг
Сайн зам мөрийг тэмцэж олох ч бас их яруухан шүлэг аж
Сайваар ажирсан богдс мину номын агаарт шүлэг болон мөнхөрчүхүй

Соёмбот Орон
Зава Дамдин

Бар жилийн өвлийн сүүл сарын битүүн.




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: 1 April 2024. Last updated: 1 April 2024.