Thursday, August 19, 2010

Songs of the Sixth Dalai Lama: Redux

 So I was quite quite wrong. I had misread the first two lines and mistranslated the last. (To be fair to me, these poems, our Shakespeare’s sonnets, do lend themselves to rich and varied interpretation. But ok, perhaps not this one. I was basically just wrong.) This is the corrected effort. I feel that the “thousand” must echo the thousand arms and eyes of Avalokiteshvara so I prefer “thousand-armed” to “thousand-petaled.” Maybe this is not right. Also I don’t know if a ha.lo’i me.tok is a hollyhock flower. Where is a horticulturalist when you need one? I also ended up changing “chapel” to temple. I still have misgivings; the word lha.khang does not translate perfectly. Both “chapel” and “temple” have too many overtones seeping in from different cultures and ages. But needs must.

If the thousand-armed hollyhock flower
Leaves as material for offering,
Please take me, the young turquoise bee,
Into the temple as well.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your postings that reflect a "thinking mind." Thanks for bringing attention to this stanza from the sixth Dalai Lama's poems.

Just a questionk why this fascination with "gyu." The blog is called "gyu.thog" and the stanza has "gyu.sbrang." Just being inquisitive!

Bhuchung Tsering

Khar Chen said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the beautiful translation ...

please enjoy this .. a collection of common tibetan flower names