Zeyar Lynn: Poet for the People

This man pulls no punches. He believes in language and the power of that language used in poetry. Zeyar Lynn is strictly principled when it comes to what poetry can and should be in Myanmar. When a few aspiring poets told him that poetry “is all about feeling and how I feel” he told them to wake up and start reading and studying the language of poetry, not just their feelings. On 25 November 2012, he opened day 3 of the Blue Wind International Multimedia Festival with this piece, part of which I have transcribed here in English. He read it first in Burmese (which was powerful and beautiful) and then in English, which had a similar effect on the audience. Someday, with faster internet connection, I will upload the recording of this piece in Burmese.

I Am A Fire Engine Going Up In Flames

I am an Asiatic deer in danger of extinction. No, that electricity is no longer my power supply. Let’s assume I’m a rare Ayeyarwaddy dolphin. I will never inhabit the Yangtze. Have I become a brick in the Great Wall of China? IN the brick-making kilns, my bones are hotter than heat. That’s HIstory with a capital “H.” I don’t want to be a nation in a bundle of donated clothes for undeveloped countries. Look how they make car bodies out of my ribs. Instead of fuel, I am gutter oil. I am a brand new banking industry…

I am a womb impregnated by capitalism going on a pleasure spree. I am the victimized masses in a time of social upheaval. I am a piece of memory stuck on the boot of dictatorship. I am the hymen of a young lady who was sold to the highest bidder at an auction…

If I am one person who was released, I am also the hundreds who remain…

I am the urgent news of an impending natural disaster transmitted through poor connection. I am a forbidden sentence silent in the parliament. No, I can’t be philosophical about not owning anything, not even myself…

I am the prototype of the great horse ridden by the great savior prince. Just like that, I can be annihilated. Even so, I am the sponge cells that rush to reunite as soon as they are obliterated.

Zeyar Lynn25 November 2012 read at City Star Hotel, YGN, Myanmar


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