High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a poem originally written in Chinese on February 10, 2010 by a Tibetan university student calling himself “Son of Snow” Dhondup and posted the next day on his TibetCul blog. This was around the time of Losar (Tibetan New Year) when there was an upsurge in online activities and poems centred around the theme of “I Am Tibetan”.
This poem was also posted by Tibetan writer Woeser on her blog on February 15, 2010 with several other poems of the same title, some of which have already been translated into English including this poem by Adong Paldothar and this prose piece by Dechen Hengme.
The poem below forms part of the series of poetry and prose pieces on High Peaks Pure Earth titled “I Am Tibetan”.
In low profile, I live
on the noble snow-covered plateau
In my simple mother tongue, I tell
of how false history
in those days buried the truth and we
have tried our best to discover
the truth in this world
through our Tibetan identity
With a guitar on my back, I walk
on the ever desertifying grassland
Singing sadly, playing feebly
From tents to tall buildings
From steeds to cars
All development is suffused with dense “fakery”
His back bent,
Father takes up the time-worn prayer wheels and
prays for the dead spirits that exist everywhere on the plateau
In those days when lovers aged
We have endured the most miserable pastoral song
A sigh in the middle of the night outweighed
The countless barking dogs
Tukshey (Tap Dance), Gorshey (Circle Dance) and Zhes (Folk Dance)
Who shakes the wilderness that lies in deep sleep?
Steeds, armour and sharp swords
Who commands the awakened army?
I gaze at the temples as dear as Mother to me
Guarding the last piles of mani stones
We have been waiting for too long
We have been voyaging too far
Tibetans, carrying dignity on their backs,
Bearing pain, are gradually rising.
Written in Amdo on February 10, 2010.