G. Mend Ooyo's All Shining Moments – a Psalm of Nomadism
Dr. Shaleen Kumar Singh
G. Mend Ooyo has emerged as one of the most influential and distinguished poet penning in English today. Very sensitive to Nomadism life, drenched in the Nomadic life of Mangolia, G. Mend Ooyo sees to verify the tradition of Nomadism in his poetry book All Shining Moments which may be called the psalm of Nomadism.
Born in herdsman family of Dar'ganga, Mongolia on October 26 September, 1952, G.Mend Ooyo grew up in a peculiar atmosphere of riding horses and tending sheep, as well as moving from one place to another by camel Caravan. After graduating from Pedagogical college in 1970 and Mangolian National University Pedagogy in 1978. he received his Master's degree at the University of Arts and Culture in 1996 and his D.Lit in 2002. G.Mend Ooyo started penning poetry when he was 13 years old only and became the member of Mongolian Writers Union. He led 'GAL' a literary current in late 1970 and in 1980 along with his comrades established the literary current GUNU. He has been on many prestigious posts previously like the President of Mongolia PEN Club, Gen. Editor of Mongolian National Television from 1981, executive Director and Vice President of Mongolian Cultural Foundation (and since 1994 till present as president of the Foundation). He has published over twenty books of poems, narratives, articles, including Bird of Thought, Tiny Singing Bird, Camel Higher Than Mountains, Endless Knot Thread, Head of Morin Khuur, Golden Hill, Crystal Temple of Meaning, Crystal Temple of Hill, Migjid Janraisag-The Opener of Wisdom Eye, Ballad of Temrujin's Eight Whitish Yellow Horses, I Am Coming to You -1, I Am Coming to You-II, A Nomad is coming From Horizon, Morin Khuur Sutra, Twelve Deeds of Morin Khuur, Blue Sutra of Dar'ganga and Golden Book of Mongolia. Besides, G Mend Ooyo has participated in International Poetry Festivals and World Congress of Poets that were held in Tokyo, Japan, Sydney, Australia (2001),Iari, Romania (2002) and Seoul, Korea (2004). Since 2003 he has been the Member of International Committee of World Congress of Poets and was selected as the president of 26th World Congress of Poets.
His latest collection All Shining Moments is firstly a genuine and picturesque account of Nomadic experiences. The poet himself admits the influence of Nomadism on him:
"I am a child of Nomadic Mongolia. We would move at the break of dawn. As a child I used to sit in the basket on the loaded cart, greeting the morning sunshine at the even place of the plodding camel; perhaps it was then that I felt rhythm of my future poems."(5)
At another place he adds and explores the genesis of his future poems:
"In my childhood I saw the appreciation of those who were thirsty from their long journey and understand the sense of extending a hand to those who live worshipping the earth and who depend on one another. I think this was absorbed in the nature of my future poems."(My Gentle Lyric, p.5)
The poet feels his whole life as a saga of Nomadic experience for his both rural and urban lives were influenced with it, he says:
"The years of my life spent as a Nomad in town also seems to me like nomadism."
The poet in his whole life has moved in search of his nomadic origins. His poetry has all the merits of Nomadism- slowness, uninterrupted movement', the distant streaming harmony, searching presentiment, a curious character with gentle and melodious heart that look on every thing with optimistic eye.
The collection carries all the characteristics of Nomadic poetry, the ever brimming passion of looking the things penetrating them into the deepest. The poet seems to celebrate the 'Shining Moments' like a true nomad in the very first poem of the collection:
"The brightest light comes from the darkness above
And Woman looks prettier in twilight.
Ear ring sets shining in the evening alone.
A saddle's studs sparkle at night.
The Gumuda flower blooms in the evening,
Homesick houses neigh at dawn's setting." (9)
Enjoying the moments interruptedly, the poet weaves his own notions in the poem and appears to be a discoverer:
"Sunshine is bright when coming from the clouds gap,
And Karma alone is the truth's sap
In a shooting star's flash, light's unique rays converse,
Giving birth to a son, to light up the Universe." (p.9)
The poet, in the second poem of the collection 'I Am Coming to You' reaffirms his nomadic bent of mind when he travels 'through the years and times accompanied by the son and the moon' and goes on the bumpy winding reads left by 'old / wise men / climbing up and down through high mountains and / rolling hills./ fording through hundreds of rivers' and says:
"Although I do not know when we may meat each other,
I am pondering the words that I will say to you
I am coming to you."(11)
In the poem, the poet carries together 'autumn's grief and spring's revival' and takes 'hold of the fire of' his 'age together with the sun's warmth in his hand', all his 'light thoughts' of his journey, all the sweet moments of his life and all his secrets, the poet treads together on the stand of his spirits and thinks of his 'limitless spirit' and adds further:
"Having only parts of my dreams,
Testing from my own poetry the very basis for
Everything of mine,
Climbing up wards in the chasm of soaring mountains;
Following impassable paths,
Seeking for the eternal song, the essence of love,
I am coming to you."(12)
The poet is much fascinated by the 'Buddha's ancient aureole' that glooms of on the shinny top'. The poem 'The Moon over an Old Temple' bespeaks of Buddha's glory:
Along the road that leades to the golden-lit Buddha!
The image of Buddha is getting clearer and clearer.
The living Buddha's domain is hard to see in the
The poem 'My Secrecy' is the best and is probably the most philosophical for it tries to touch that impalpable secret of secrets and reflects the poet's ever exploring approach to open those frontiers which are never even attempted by any poet. The poem is basically subjective where 'I' despite remaining predominant throughout the poem justifies the relevance of true eye and the relevance of opening the wisdom eye. In the poem the poet confers a number of clues that can open the poet's secrecy considering himself as 'an unread riddle and a 'puzzling cross/ an iceberg / whose greater part is sunk in the ocean' and says:
"The history of the world until today has created me and
Opens me now,
My life and struggles define and open me,
My voice and poetry can open me,
If I could ever touch the hearts of my countrymen, then
I will be opened too."(p.22)
He opens the secret as well as is opened as secret and adds:
"The world is hidden suitably in me, and
My ideas are concealed in the bottom of my heart.
Everything and every moment opens me,
The universe opens itself through me."(p.22)
There are several other beautiful poems which are based on the theme of love, nature, beauty and philosophy. Most of the poems of the collection are translated but the job of translator is so skilled that the joy of poetry is never lessened. Poems like the 'Sighting of Migrants-Harbinger of spring', 'your eyebrows are Like The Wings of Flying Crane', 'Contemplating the Nature of The Hills', 'Four Red Leaves' and 'The Golden Swallow' are the delineation of nature mingled with subjective elements and Nomadism. There are several Buddhist mythological references which add the flavor of the poem as well as reveal the glory and shine of Mongolia and its majestic culture. Thus all his poetry can be seen drenched in the color of Mongolia. Prof. Y.A. Bettar observes, even:
"The poetry of G. Mend-Ooyo is an experience of the creative search- an intellectual, yet distinctively Mongolian and indeed very oriental poetry which painfully recognizes the boundaries of tradition and innovation. It is impossible to speak of traditional Mangolian poetry, thinking and skills, radiant with the Eastern light, without considering the poetry of G. Mend Ooyo." (p.60)
Besides, it is also essential to note that the Mangolian culture is based on the Nomadism. In India, particularly in Hindi Literature, Rahul Sankrityayan is the greatest follower of Nomadism whose philosophy of Nomadism is based on the following couplet of Urdu:
"Sair kar duniya ki gafil zindgani phir kahan
Zindagani gar rahi to naujabani phir kahan."
Which means," travel the whole world, you will not get the life again. If ever life remains, you will not get the youth again.In sum, the present collection All Shining Moments is more a psalm of Nomadism than a book of poems. Though it is replete with experiences of love, nature and life, yet predominantly it is born and developed in the background of Nomadism and it deserves well to be on the book-shelf of the poetry lover as well as the votary of Nomadism. I congratulate with heart and soul to Dr. G. Mend Ooyo who has succeeded enormously in vocalizing the music of the soul to each and every rank and file.
Shaleen Kumar Singh
M.A. (Eng.), LL.B., Ph.D.