Thursday, May 22, 2008


Kan nitin feh mual a hla,
hun indaih loh reng a na.

Mup mup, nuai nuai,
huai huai, luai luai,
thlarau nei lo an ti
he khawpui hi.

Kiltin ah, nitin in
khawi lam atrang in,
hei zat engtin nge
an punkhawm le?

Hei ang zozai zingah,
hetiang mipui karah
hmelhriat awm si lo,
biangbiak tur awm lo.

Che rawk rawk,
kal hmawk hmawk,
tlan dawr dawr,
thawk bawrh bawrh,
hmanhmawh reng reng
ni leng!

Tlai hlau ke-pen an,
thawkmawh zing-hmel an
‘welcome’ an ziak lo;
‘min hnaih suh aw,
muthilh ka la mamawh,
breakfast ka la ei lo,
ka khuih hman lo sam pawh,
lipstick hnawih ka la ngai,
kan buai ngei mai!’

Feh kawngah hei zawng kan tlan,
Enge kan um, enge kan man?


illusionaire said...

So I guess language doesn't really matter if one has the skills huh? It's amazing how you can come up with such poems in any language. Have you tried writing in marathi too? :-)

Calliopia said...

Hey now mesjay, this one has a definite contemporary look and sound and feel to it. The diction isn't archaic, outdated, or cliched, and it isn't prosaic either. Fantastic achievement!

I also notice that as with your Journey poem, your phrasing seems to verbally echo the visual - the frenetic hustle and bustle of everyday working life here..

Che rawk rawk,
kal hmawk hmawk,
tlan dawr dawr,
thawk bawrh bawrh,
hmanhmawh reng reng
ni leng!

You have such an exquisitely musical ear.

And I love the interspersing of "welcome", "breakfast", "lipstick". Now that's contemporary Mizo tawng!

mesjay said...

thanks,illusionaire. Mizo poetry has a vast open field for experimenting, why don't you try? As for writing in Marathi, i think i'll leave that to you, hoping you're going to become a permanent Mumbaikar.

calliopia, guess it takes critics like you to bring out creative works out of people. Your suggestions gave me the courage to try out the new form. Do keep critiquing free and frank, that's how we can improve.

Calliopia said...

Keep writing them and I'll keep critiquing them! Btw what do you think of this poem It was written by an old friend of Hp's, and also an English post-grad.

mesjay said...

calliopia, 'vannei lanu' is a nice poem. i left my comment there.

feddabonn said...

i finally understood one of your mizo poems. (well, most of it). dee and i going out to dinner to celebrate. yay!

and i LOVE the way you've used the 'double adjective', did you call it?

mesjay said...

feddabon, it does call for a celeb! high time you hone up your mizo tawng, may be start writing too.

feddabonn said...

har har har @ writing. that'll take a GOOD while, yet...what, for instance, is the mizo word for 'revolution'? grin.

i'll do mizo when you do marathi! (thumbs up to illusionaire)

DayDreamBeliever said...

mesjay...nice! That is different. I tried reading it out loud, and it has a definite feel to it. And I must add here that I still love that "sam ah duhaisam.." poem, contrary to popular opinion!

mesjay said...

daydreambeliever, so good someone appreciates... tastes do differ. and critics are so needed to openly express their opinions - that's what really counts. o yes, poems are meant for reading aloud, after all. we fail to do poems justice if we only read them silently.

feddabon, if you don't have the mizo word for revolution you have to find it or make it. poets sometimes need to create words as they go along.

Anonymous said...

Aha, finally! As much as it strains credulity, i *really* have been unable to access *any* blogspot blogs ( and ok, i did forget about checking up on yours for months so feel free to turn the big fat spank ray in my direction - it's fully earned).
Feh-kawng is probably the first contempoaray mizo poem I've read
that comes across as credible poetry sans the baggage of obscure and archaic-sounding poetic diction that is, at one and the same time, mizo poetry's single unique-est feature and single largest weakness.
Talk about sweeping statements. *g*

It catches the frenetic pace, the relentless pressure of the feh-kawng, contemporizing it because the image it is meant to evoke is that of urban commuting - the 'body jam' as you called it in an earlier entry. Nice cultural bridging there :)
The concluding two stanzas bring in two new elements, methinks. 'Tlai hlau...' personalizes the impersonality/dehumanizing process of the preceding lines (mup mup, nuai nuai and so on) by talking about very human things: sleeping in (oh do i sympathise), breakfast, lipstick. And it's quietly humorous, which I love.Then all this breathlessness is neatly wrapped up - i was about to say, brought to a rattling stop - by a single penetrating question: enge kan um, enge kan man?

mona gets up, crumpling her ACR like the second rate tree-pulp it is and, with a soul-uplifting cry of emancipation those pencilheads in Dilbert would deeply empathize with, throws it into the next country.


To cut a long story short,this is solid stuff. Both thumbs up and i definitely would love to see more ...and maybe, at long long last, the curse of my Inability to Grok My People's Poetry will be lifted.
As always, thanks for sharing. Cheers and a big hug.

mesjay said...

Great to have you here, Mona. And thanks to you and Caliopia, i dared to try the new form of Mizo poem. And it's so good to have what you write understood.

But i still have an afinity with the old 'poetic' diction of Mizo poetry too. True, it's often misused, used for blurring rather than concretising. I'll sure try to continue to work on the new form, but can't promise not to revert back to the old at times!

Peter_de_Ace said...

I use to 'FEH' half a part of my life !!! Its quite nice once you gwt use to it !!! All those innocent smiles...those super fresh vegie...etc etc !!!