Mongolia

Something Really Special for Mongolia Monday

When I was in UB, I found and purchased some anthologies of Mongolian poetry translated by one Simon Wickham-Smith. I googled his name and, lo and behold, there was a link to his Facebook page. So I wrote him a short note asking for permission to use some of the poems in my blog and to “be his friend”. Within a couple of hours I got an email back saying “Yes” to both.

I think it would be an understatement to say that Mongolian literature is not well-known in the West and yet I found the poetry that I have read beautiful, evocative and filled with compelling word images about the land and people. I’m hoping to be able to import the books and offer them for sale, but those arrangements have still to be worked out. in the meantime, Simon, at my request, has written two short essays; one on Mongolian literature and one on the story of his involvement in things Mongolian. The first essay will appear this coming Monday and the second on the following.

For more about Simon, visit his website at www.wickhamsmith.net or you can write to him at wickhamsmith@gmx.net

Here is the poem which prompted all this, which I wanted to use for the “bug” post:

Turkic gravestones near Hustai National Park

Turkic gravestones near Hustai National Park

IN THE WILDS OF AUTUMN by B. Renchin (1905-1977)

Tiring the eyes, the wild steppe ripples
Yellowish and soundless.
Grasshoppers, the world’s voice, keep silent.
In the sky above only the storks are calling.
From the withered, yellow sphere of the sky,
Comes a lively and intriguing scent.
From the foreheads of the stone men in the cemeteries,
The hoarfrost melts into pearls of sweat.

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