Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My poem Geese profiled in an article together with Tin Moe's poetry--

Quote from “Have I become stateless?” -

accessed 4-22-2015:

Many of Tin Moe’s poems were translated into English by fellow Myanmar poet Kyi May Kaung. Kaung received political asylum in the US in 1989 after the failure of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Myanmar, and she has been railing against the prevailing military junta with paintbrush and pen ever since. Her poem “Geese” opens with a question: “Are those clouds or are those mountains[?]” By not providing an answer the poet shuns exactitude and opens the door to possibility. The setting is dawn – a time of new beginnings, uncertainty and possibility. Only the geese seem sure of themselves, “flying in one straight / line”. The poet muses: “I must ask the geese”, but this intention is not enacted, so it remains a possibility, a dream.

A committed activist and campaigner for a free and democratic Myanmar, Kaung’s idealism is writ large in this poem. For her, the way forward is clear and hopeful even if the details are “with the mist”.


by Kyi May Kaung

Are those clouds

or are those mountains

rising – from the

horizon – with the mist.

I must ask the geese

honking at dawn

flying in one straight

line – across the

lake – their shadows below


End quote.

I don't have a photo of the geese, as I stepped out of the small B & B in Sigtuna near Stockholm very early in the morning.  But of course I remember the exact moment I was referring to in the poem.


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