Дэлхий ээж тандаа би хайртай
World Poetry Days in Mongolia
Papers & Speeches

Papers & Speeches



Poetry is an unknown light signal from Cosmos.
Poetry is the magic wave of spiritual energy.
Poetry is the heavenly body of human’s inner Cosmos.
Poetry is an outstanding phenomenon of the spirited Mandala.

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.

It is said that at the end of 19th Century in the Gobi desert of Mongolia there was terrible drought for many years. People and animals suffered tremendously due to non-existent rain, dryness and the parched soil. The famous poet Gelegbalsan from the Gobi composed verses and invocations asking the Heavens for rain. Then he went to an ancient shrine with offerings along with the local people. The poet recited in verse and song his invocations with his face directed to the Sky, with all the people around him accompanying him in chorus. Soon afterwards clouds gathered out of the clear Sky and rain started to fall.
This story demonstrates the magic of poetry’s energy, and on the other hand, it tells of the unique capability of the poet to manage natural phenomenon by galvanizing people’s spirits and consciousness.
Mongolian nomads believe that all mountains and waters have their own spiritual Masters who are not visible, but have the mysterious quality of being felt by people’s thoughts and minds. That’s why each mountain and body of water has its own praise-songs and rituals. Addressing these praise-songs and rituals to the mountains, people can call preferable natural phenomenon like rain, rainbows etc. to their aid.

If one carefully listens to the evocations, incantations and calls of shamans one can hear verses addressed to the Heaven, Water-spirits and the shaman’s own spiritual helpers.
In the Eastern Mongolian steppe, namely in Dariganga, there is a small steppe mountain called Altan-Ovoo. Local people for hundreds of years have been praying and worshipping this small mountain. Around the 13th Century people worshipped the mountain according to shamanist rituals and starting in the 18th Century, the mountain was worshipped in accordance with Buddhist rituals. Both Shamanist and Buddhist rituals were performed in verse. Worshippers recited verses in the form of religious songs praising the mountains and waters and asking the Masters in the Sky and Earth for mercy, rain, good luck and peace. With full devotion and belief, people offer the choicest of their food and drinks and chant:
My sacred Altan-Ovoo
My sacred Altan-Ovoo
My sacred Altan-Ovoo
When a word is repeated many times by many people at the same time it becomes energized by the concentrated spiritual energy of many people. In this way, the word attains an extraordinarily strong spiritual charge and energetic frequency.

A local herdsman would utter the name of Altan-Ovoo when his or her horse stumbled and offer thanks to Altan-Ovoo that he or she didn’t fall from the horse. Once a nomad has discovered and learned how a word can be energized and produce this wave-like energetic effect, he will highly respect poetry as something heavenly and sublime.
During the rule of Chinggis Khaan important messages, especially, ultimatums, were written in verse, which messengers had to memorize and recite in the form of a song to the recipient. Many of Chinggis Khaan’s teachings that were passed down are in verse. These are examples of using the strength of poetry in state affairs.

From history, we know that when the Mongolian State became more sedentary and urbanized, namely in the Yuan Dynasty era, almost all khans and ministers composed verses.

History also tells us that Zanabazar, Mongolia’s 17th Century enlightened lama’s famous poem “The pacifying prayer” (Tsagiig tohinuulagch zalbiral”) distributed widely throughout the country by his students, could even prevent wars between rival regions.

Mongolian nomads use verses and melodic words for dealing with their animals. The animals, not knowing human language, are moved by the verses and melodic words presented to them by the herders.

The strength of a real poet lies in his ability to create a totally new being and to open an unknown world. Poetry forms itself through an ensemble of musical and rhythmic words and carries the energy of the content that matches the words and their form. This inner energy, having created a certain shape of thought, flows out as mind’s true expression, spreading like a flow of atomic energy. If the words, the rhythm and the meaning in a poem work harmoniously together, the poetry can have infinite magical meanings and can contain exciting energy that pleases countless readers throughout time. Truly vital poetry contains invisible strength and exists as a magic sphere of meaning, which revives people’s minds and changes itself again and again as soon as it is stimulated.

They say a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Russian poet Boris Pasternak once exclaimed: “Dear fellow poets. Please, do not foretell your sorrowful death in your verses because poetry’s strength makes it to come true.” He must have had noticed how Pushkin, Lermontov and Esenin were foretelling their deaths in their verses.

A reader who reads a meaningful poem experiences the same sufferings and joy of inspiration as those of the poet when the poem was created. The very strong thoughts and formulations in a poem that is read by scores of readers act as careers of this magic energy. When the inner energy absorbed in a poem’s every word and its energized sound radiates out, it occupies and possesses the minds of the listeners. Real poetry has always had the strength to exist regardless of space and time.
This is, I would say, is poetry’s energy or its magic wave.
This magic quality of poetry’s energy has been used in different times both for good and bad. There are cases of using the energized magic wave of words as a weapon for fighting an enemy. At times there was the so-called “curse poetry”.
Mongolians like the saying:
Benediction brings flowers
Cursing brings blood
The logic of this saying is that words coming from a good heart and mind lead people and society through bright paths. The shortest way to enlightenment lies within poetry. Through poetry we can purify the human spirit, shed light in the darkness of human’s inner world, fight for enlightenment, bring peace, and in this way bring together peoples hearts and minds. Poetry can eliminate distrust, differences in space and time, and bring down the walls that divide us.
Therefore, we shall pay attention to the fact that there is a possibility of using the magic wave of the energy which lies in the multi-national poetry of humankind. The more humane and merciful our poetry, the more the magic wave of this purifying energy will help our deeds towards their fulfillment: the absolute desire of humankind to live in peace.

Only poetry charged by the light of love and mercy, coming from a human’s mind, and the energetic words of a gifted human will make every thing good and beautiful.
translated by Sh.Tsog
at The Asian-Pacific Poets Conference, Japan, 2005
Papers & Speeches