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POEMS

- by Ayurzana Gun-Aajavwas

HOW OLD IS THE MOSQUITO…

Translated from the Mongolian by Simon Wickham-Smith

How old is the mosquito
Squashed between the pages
Of the ancient sacred sutra?
From which age
Did the spirit of an insect
Just fly by?
Is losing yourself
Like finding yourself?
Oh, it's raining,
The valleys and hills are white.
Oh, to run in the rain
To the foggy mountain!
Will the wind be strong enough
To turn the rain-soaked page?


I GROPE IN MY LIFE LIKE A BLIND MAN…

Translated from the Mongolian by E. Sodontogos and Christopher Merrill

I grope in my life like a blind man.
The blind man has a cane.
I don't.
Eyes open, helpless,
In complete darkness, in the awful darkness
Of your body, like a blind man...
Somewhere a light flashed.
I asked a fortune-teller what it was.
"Your heart," he said.

Biography
Ayurzana Gun-Aajavwas was born in the southwestern province of Mongolia, Bayankhongor, in 1970. He began writing poems at sixteen. After high school he went to Moscow to study at the Maxim Gorky literary institute (1988-1994), the only literary university in the socialist world. Upon his return to Mongolia, Ayurzana became a correspondent for the state daily newspaper “The People’s Right.” He worked in journalism for seven years, four of them as editor-in-chief of the weekly publication Yesterday and one year as an editor of the Daily News, Mongolia’s highest-circulation daily newspaper. He has published six books of poetry as well as a trilogy of novels.