Burmese poem: Zaw Gyi’s Hyacinth’s Way – This is My Way (with English translation)

Note:- Ma Beda = Water hyacinth (Eichornia Crassipes) is called ‘Beda’ in Myanmar.It grows in the deltaic creeks and streams,

floating up and dawn with the ebb and rise of the tide.

The poet metaphorically uses the word ‘Ma Beda’ meaning ‘Miss Beda’, in the whole series of his poems.

He effectively compares the lovely hyacinth to a girl.

Saya Zaw Gyi had written a long series of poems about Beda, actually representing her as a tough girl/women struggling in the world. I like the one,”Still wearing the flower”, where in the rapid flowing stream, she met few hundred ducks (read men), after successfully resisted their attack and the rough weather and rough stream, she claim that she was still wearing her flower! The following poem had given a lot of strength to many readers facing the difficulties in life.

“Still managed to continue wearing the flower on her head”

  • Rejoicing in the tidal creek, the blue coloured Miss Beda,
  • Wants to dock at the shore near.
  • The floating coconut approached and hit her side.
  • It was quite a painful strike.
  • Effectively hindering from soft landing at her preferred site .
  • Miss Beda was attacked and drowned again by the another tidal wave.
  • But she struggled and managed to float again on the nearby surface.
  • Refloating again in the stream is also not an ‘easy ride’ thing.
  • The ducts from the drain come out into the stream again, swimming.
  • She was alone bearing the kicking attacks of hundreds of the ducks.
  • But Miss Beda never gives up.
  • She bites her lips but managed to wear the flower with a beam.
  • While struggling in the rapidly flowing stream.

(Sorry for my lousy translation. Read the origin in Burmese below and better professional translation which I got later) 

Ducks swim in canal near Mai Chau

Source: Learn NC

 From Kyaw Kyaw Oo’s blog 

I got this better translation later. Above was my translation.

Source of poem below- “Keep on flowing Ayeyarwaddy…”- anthology of the Myanmar Poetry –
Zaw Gyi : Hyacinth’s Way  – This is My Way

Rejoicing in the tidal creek, the blue coloured Miss Beda,
Giving pretext of the jasmine flower,
She wants to dock at the shore near.
Rejoicing in the tidal creek, Miss Beda of a bluish colour,
Giving pretext of the belle lady,
She fancies to stop at the shore here.
Rejoicing in the tidal creek, bluish Miss Beda,
Giving pretext of the small stupa,
She desires to land at the shore hither.
With a sail aloft while I glide,
The words of the piper I have learned to abide,
Wearing like a sash the noble wish of escape, bluish lady
Flowing up and dawn in the tidal creek’s water,
She says, this is my way; no other.

– Noble wish of escape.
The wish of escape from endless births of Samsara, and
taking the other way round, it means the attainment of Nirvana

File:Water hyacinth.jpg

Pic Wikipedia

(Saya) Zawgyi in Wikipedia

Source: Not Giving Up Quotes and Never Give Up Quotations

Probably the most famous quote ever, on never giving up, from Winston Churchill, during World War II:

“Never, never, never give up!”

~ Winston Churchill

Ralph Waldo Emerson Not Giving Up Quote:

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Brian Tracy on Not Giving Up:

“Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.”

~ Brian Tracy

The rewards of not giving up, a great quote from Albert Einstein:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

~ Albert Einstein

Never Give Up on Your Dreams Quote, from an unknown source:

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.”

~ Unknown

 A great not giving up quotation from Winston Churchill, with a touch of humor:

“Wars are not won by evacuations.”

~ Winston Churchill

Charles F. Kettering Quote on Keeping Going:

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”

~ Charles F. Kettering

Brian Tracy Never Giving Up Quote:

“Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.”

~ Brian Tracy

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Quote about Never Giving Up:

“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Simple Confucius Not Giving Up Quote :

“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ”

A limit on what you will do, puts a limit on what you can do.

All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.
Pearl S. Buck


15 Responses to “Burmese poem: Zaw Gyi’s Hyacinth’s Way – This is My Way (with English translation)”

  1. hamdan Says:

    tq for your att tell me more about yurr country exeotic flower

  2. tin Says:

    တတ္နိဳင္သေလာက္ ဆရာ ေဇာ္ဂ်ီရဲ. ကဗ်ာေတြကို ေဖၚျပေပးေစခ်င္ပါတယ္…ယေန.လူငယ္ေတြအတြကိပါ

  3. Tu Mar Says:

    Thank you for your awesome blog; when I saw the original poem of “Ma Beda”, you took my breath away. I love the word “Ma Beda way is my way” every oversea Burmese knows what is the meaning of that. Long live Miss Violet!!!

    I am so thrilled to find people like you who loves Burmese language even though living in oversea for so long. Thanks to all the internet gurus that I can read Burmese in US.

  4. Khin Maung Sein Says:

    Thanks you

  5. kyaw thet soe Says:

    မေဗဒါ ပန္းပန္လ်က္ပဲ……. ၾကားဖူးပါတယ္ ဒါေပမဲ့ ကဗ်ာကိုေတာ့ တခါမွေသေသခ်ာခ်ာ မဖတ္ဖူးဘူး…….တကယ္ကို အႏွစ္သာရနဲ႔ ျပည့္စံုတဲ့ ကဗ်ာေလးပါ……..ေက်းဇူးတင္ပါတယ္ ဆရာ

  6. Myat Kyi La Thein Says:

    hi, i have made a translation in English. Please give a comment, after reading 🙂 I have tried my best to translate it.

    The Hyacinth Way (still wearing flower)

    Brownish blue, at the foot of the river shore,
    Rises the Baydar, as the tide grows more.
    Then, down she rides, with the tide’s fall.

    It ain’t ease for Baydar to descend
    Hover the branches, linger and hang.
    Those flowing to and fro, too, she blends
    Thy, she keeps a fallen branch, to give a hand.

    Still it ain’t an ease, despite her plan,
    Drowned in the water when a wave returns.
    Out of sight she hides with her beauty wiped,
    Yet, comes another strike, again she glides.

    Still ain’t an ease, even she emerged,
    Via the canals, joined the paddling ducks.
    Amongst hundreds, alone she floats
    Enduring their waddles, kicks and jolts.
    With the sturdy grin the Baydar bears,
    Yet, on her head, there’s a flower she forever wears.

    Translated by Myat Kyi La Thein.

  7. Tracy Says:

    Loved this song when I was a child. Heard it in a Kyi Kyi Htay movie. It speaks eloquently of resilience despite life’s many disppointments and tragedies. Even though I was about ten then, I still remember some of the lyrics and am truly grateful for this gift.

  8. nyolinnthun Says:

    good ..thz …

  9. si thu thet hnin Says:

    ိုုိsi thu: saya zaw gyi’s our country poem please state

  10. Adam Says:

    ဆရာေဇာ္ဂ်ီရဲ႕ကဗ်ာေလးေတြက အရမ္းကို ေလးနက္ျပီး အႏွစ္သာရ ျပည့္၀ပါတယ္ …….. အရမ္းလဲ ႏွစ္သက္ပါတယ္ အထူးသျဖင့္ေဗဒါပန္း ကဗ်ာေလးကို အရမ္း ၾကိဳက္မိပါတယ္ … ဘ၀မွာ စိတ္ေမာစရာေတြၾကံဳလာတိုင္း မေလွ်ာ့တမ္း အံခဲ ၾကိဳးစားခဲ့ဖို႕ အားေပးတ့ဲ ကဗ်ာေလးပါဘဲ …. ။

  11. Phyu Says:

    ေက်ာင္းမွာ poem ဖတ္ရင္ this poem and English translation ကိုယူသံုးပါရေစ၊ ခြင့္ျပဳပါ ရွင့္။ ေက်းဇူးတင္ပါတယ္၊

  12. Jael Says:

    Hi there,

    I’m Jael.

    We came across your poems online and would like to get your permission to publish them in a book that we’re working on right now. Along with other local folklore and stories of the region, we would love to have your work contributed to this collection. We will most definitely credit the writers of their works as well.

    Do let us know, how you feel about it and feel free to email me anytime!


    • drkokogyi Says:

      Dear Jael,
      Sorry, this is not my poem and my translation is not good. Although the original famous Myanmar poet had died long time ago and may be there could not be much copyrights issue (I THINK, MY OPINION only…translators (including me) are amateurs…may be you should just take the rough meaning and write a new version.

      For your information…this famous poet had written a long series of poems on Hyacinth alone and other numerous good poems, many of which are even included as classic Myanmar language and had put in Myanmar Language text books for schools and universities. May be some of them were already translated into English.

      So I hereby advise you to contact relevant Myanmar Embassy for further contact with the possible copyright owners and other poems written by Zawgyi.

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