Poetry

Poetry is the crown jewel of Tibetan literature, with many authors both of prose and of criticism starting out and ending up as poets first and foremost. A collection of pieces as small as this one cannot possibly do justice to the full breadth and depth of Tibetan poetry, but it can serve as an introduction.

Waterfall of Youth (1985)

by Dondrub Gyal, translated by Tsering Shakya. The original Tibetan-language poem was printed in all three editions of of Light Rain (Sbrang char) in 1983, 1994, and 1997. This translation originally appeared in the collection Song of the Snow Lion: New Writing from Tibet, pp. 10-13, edited by Frank
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The Path

Written by Yidam Tsering Translated by Yangdon Dhondup Published in 1981 On the road I relish the speed of a horse’s hoof. In the desert I admire the heavy load a camel carries. On the snow mountain that frightens the eagle I see the yak with its tongue stuck out jumping like a fierce tiger fr
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The Potala — The Venturer’s Mounting – Stone

Written by Yidam Tsering Translated by Herbert J. Batt From “Song of the Snow Lion – Special Focus: New Writing from Tibet”, Mānoa, 2000. Silver under the moon, a pagoda towers to heaven; Golden stones dazzling in the sun, radiant with wisdom. The constellation of the ten cultures,
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Land of Snows

Written by Yidam Tsering Translated by Herbert J. Batt From “Song of the Snow Lion – Special Focus: New Writing from Tibet”, Mānoa, 2000. The Sun God strokes a miraculous silver comb across the earth To form a Pure Land of snows that ferments the moon in a vat of ice. When you find
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In the Forest of Faded Wisdom

Among Gendun Chopel’s 104 poems in his collection In the Forest of Faded Wisdom, we selected four of them to publish on our website.   31. Hey! After I had gone away Some nonsense-talking lamas Said that Nechung, king of deeds, Did not let me stay because I was too proud. If he is a prote
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Tibet, Mother, Mani

by Ju Kalzang   Deep is the mantra essence of Tibet— the Six Syllables. Pure white is the snow flower of Tibet— the Six-Petalled One. Profound is the dharma of Tibet— our mothers’ precepts. With smiles, Tibetan mothers bestow our earliest good wishes. With smiles, Tibetan mothers relay our firs
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The World Seen from Another Angle

by Ju Kalzang, translated from the Tibetan by Ronald Schwartz. This translation originally appeared in the collection Song of the Snow Lion: New Writing from Tibet, pp. 10-13, edited by Frank Stewart, Herbert Batt, and Tsering Shakya, and published by the University of Hawai’i Press in 2000. R
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The Nine-Eyed Agate: Selections of Jangbu’s Poems

by Jangbu, translated from the Tibetan by Heather Stoddard. Her translation originally appeared in the collection The Nine-Eyed Agate: Poems and Stories, which was entirely devoted to Stoddard’s translations of Jangbu’s work. The collection was published by Lexington Books in 2010. It is
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The Grassland Sings Itself

by Alai, translated from the Chinese by Herbert Batt. This translation originally appeared in the collection Song of the Snow Lion: New Writing from Tibet, pp. 10-13, edited by Batt, Frank Stewart, and Tsering Shakya, and published by the University of Hawai’i Press in 2000. Turquoise among cl
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