Essays

Essays

Essays

YAVUUHULAN`S ILLUMING MELODY

They moved, then, nomadically, from the winter encampment in the kidney-red and stony desert, where the piebald goat pauses to stand, to the flat summit of the mountain, where saussurea flowers grow in pairs, and, as Yavuuhuman journeyed from this, the land of his father, who hunted on the ridges of the mountain, to Ulaanbaatar, he was moving among the elders’ tales and the long songs, and amidst the wonder of stories. In 1952, he finished school in Sanhüü and went to live in the capital. His father Begz, together with his two younger brothers, gathered a few cattle together and travelled to Ulaanbaatar, the many bells on their carts jangling. In 1949, as a student at the Financial Polytechnic, Yavuuhulan had assembled his first poems and these had been published as two books, What We Desire (1950) and Under the Blue Sky (1952). He went to Moscow to study at the famous A M Gorky University, which specialised in literature. The years 1954-1959, while Yavuuhulan was a student at this university, one of the principal schools of the arts in the world, resulted in a flowering of his poetic output. In 1959 his book Lyrics was published in Russia, and a second book, The Sound of a Silver Bridle, in Mongolian, and these announced the arrival on the poetry scene of a special, lyrical, voice. And while this poet, who had tasted the essence of Mongolia’s ancient epics, its long songs, stories and poetic tradition, was studying the finest literary traditions of the east, this was for him a great nomadic journey through poetry.
Essays

TURNING THROUGH THE SKIES OF MONGOLIAN POETRY

Mongolians are a people with a particular concept of poetry, and a rich and broad poetic heritage, stretching from couplets of two words to epics of 20,000 lines. Regrettably, Mongolian poetry has been translated very little into foreign languages. In particular, translations into English are as rare as a star in daytime. Although I could offer an explanation for this, I will refrain in my introduction from such things, and introduce this new book, in which a sample is presented from the rich heritage of Mongolian poetry.
Essays

DASHBALBAR’S PRAYER OF LOVE

I am thinking about one roseate evening, in the final month of summer. Near the banks of the Selbi, seen at the eastern edge of Jigjed’s summer pastures, there stood a wooden hovel. Where we were staying, the families of livestock farmers were passing the summer. The poet O Dashbalbar, who was from Sühbaatar aimag, had been writing poems on his own that summer. When he came back from work in the evening, he would lay out on the grass a quilted mat, and lie, face down, to write his poems. And the final rays of the sun on the cows’ tethering line were joined with the blue smoke from a dungfire to create a haze of bluish rouge. A young calf’s mooing, and the cheerful voices of children, rose into the sky. This is the poem which Dashbalbar wrote on this evening:
Essays

NOMADS ARE COMING FROM THE HORIZON

It is clear that contemporary Mongolian poetry develops along distinctive Mongolian lines but also takes poetic features from the rest of the world. The first Mongolian poet is the people. The song and poetry of the nomadic people are collective creations. The shortest Mongolian verse is the khos uyanga, or the couplet:
Orchlon (Universe)
Gaslan (Sorrow)
The world is summed up in these two words.
Essays

THE UNDULATING AND MAGIC CHARACTER OF POETRY AND NATURE’S ENERGY

To speak about poetry within today’s cognitive frame would be a bit insufficient. With other words, one cannot explain many hidden values of real poetry by means of our understanding of things of today. One of these values is the energy wave of the poetry. The energy wave contained in the poetry is an inexhaustible wealth of the poetry culture of the humankind. Strangely enough, in nomadic cultural heritage one often faces something that resembles efforts to manage natural energy through the energy of poetry. This should be given importance and careful study, I think.
Essays
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