Wildflower Poems by Aidii

Aidii - Wildflower Poems-01

Wildflower Poems (Ram Pangpar Biazai) is fourth poetry anthology of Aidii. The book features 50 poems and they’re written in Burmese and translated into English and Chin by Maung Day and Salai Tial Awi Thang respectively. A trilingual poetry book is something I seldom find in Burmese books.

Aidii is a Chin ethnic, one of the eight major ethnic groups in Burma (Myanmar). She was born in Chin hills (western Myanmar) but raised in Yangon and only returned to her hometown in her twenties. Since she was schooled in Burmese, though her first language is Chin, she’s more familiar to write, read and speak in Burmese. In her previous books, she wrote some poems in Chin first then rewrote them in Burmese. Sometimes, inversely. In this anthology, she wrote all the poems in Burmese and asked a Chin poet to translate them into Chin.

Some of my favourites from this collection are Poetry, Mother and Daughter, Turn into Smoke, Wild Roses Climbing Up the Wall, No Love (1), On That Day, Each to Their Own, and I am a Gypsy, So to Speak. In my humble opinion, this anthology doesn’t have a specific theme or showcase one particular idea of the poet I think. It’s a mixture of one’s personal stories on love, life, and family. In other words, it’s a glance into the poet’s life in a certain period through various snippets. The title said it all. These are wildflowers—random but naturally beautiful and vibrant in colours. Almost all the poems are brief yet they are concise and articulate with a dash of kind-hearted proses.

Personally, a few of the English translations are not fluid enough to convey what I felt from the Burmese pieces. For Chin translation, the poet herself mentioned in preface that she heard the voice of a real Chin woman when she read the Chin translation. I also love what she said about the reason of publishing in three languages, “I want to be read by as many people as possible because I want them to know what kind of poems a Chin woman and a Myanmar citizen writing. If I were to indulge myself with a little but of cockiness, I’d say I’m working for Chin literature.”

Here I shared three poems, first in Burmese, then its English and Chin translations.


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