Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín

The Rapturous World of Words
On Hadaa Sendoo’s poetry

 

 

By Rita Malhotra
(Asia writes)

Hadaa Sendoo’s poetic oeuvre is not merely an artistic and aesthetic manifestation of his sensibilities but also expresses human concerns and moral consciousness in response to his immediate surroundings. He depicts a passionately lived connection to the natural world and also accesses the latent world beyond the obvious in true fidelity to poetic sensitivity. The sensitive and thought-provoking themes are intensely varied. Many of Hadaa’s poetic creations are interspersed with nostalgic memories of his native homeland like Karakorum Mongolian Words, New Years Eve, The Mongolian Yurt and are deeply rooted in the sensitivity of the culture and tradition of his homeland. A kind of beautiful nostalgia is expressed in the poem called To paz wherein he speaks of the primitive dwelling place of Mongols namely Karakorum and sails upto its gates along his poetic journey. The poet’s expression is serenely lucid. He writes:

On the blue sea surface of the Pacific Ocean my boat drifted about
During this poetry trip when I passed by the solar calendar stele of the Astec race
I felt as if the Sun God was calling my name
…………………………………………………..
I passed through the transparent stone arches one after another
Just like having my body leaning against the city gate of Karakorum


He concludes by saying:

Inspired by the sun stones my lost charm began to shine again
The birds flying in the sky above Gulf of Mexico

They soared freely in the vast blue sky

The verse-flow maintains its continuity of emotions as his thoughts remain rooted in his country but simultaneously have a universal appeal. In the poem First Dream of Spring he expresses an infinite love for his homeland and sets the tone and tenor of the poem even as he articulates:

On bituun’s night
I decided not to miss you
But in the very first night of this year of rooster
Why should it be that I dreamt of you again


Combined with the nostalgia for his homeland his childhood memories also haunt.

He traverses backwards through corridors of time to pen poems like Sangiin Dalai, Huiten Shil and Childhood wherein his emotional honesty comes to the fore.

Huiten Shil, the paradise in my childhood
The most beautiful scenery is the whirling smoke from the yurt


And in Sangiin Dalai the poet laments:

Why do I suddenly feel sad
The Mongolian yurt in which I once lived has disappeared
A camel has lost his way home


Coming to tradition, the beautifully evocative poem New Year's Eve depicts how the poet delves into the imaginative domain and as he describes the traditional way of celebrating the spring festival in Mongolia, the connect between the conscious physical and unconscious thoughts of the mind is pleasantly harmonious:

This moment, I wonder
If times can flow backwards
If love will die
If the tramps feel sad


In Root the sensitive poet speaks of the fountainhead of poetry as he traverses along rivers, grasslands, rocks and the sky. There is a tenderness in his sad tone as he pens that in death, all these would metamorphose into a mere dream. He says:

I am alive and I can see
The root of rivers, the root of grass

…………………………………
The root of poetry

When I pass away.
I shall dream
The poetry of the root, the rocks of the root
……………………………………………

the rivers of the root

Hadaa’s consummate artistry and use of vivid images can be seen even in his expression of disillusionment. The extreme sentiment of hurt in betrayal comes across n a very touching manner in the poem called The Moon above Bogda Mount.

But tonight where have stars hidden
Heaven bears hollowness’ torment now

Snow mountain bears loneliness’ torment
Eyes bear betrayal’s torment now


The economy of words and timeless lines are very appealing in the poet’s short poems.They manifest an intellectual control on his writing. The strong sense of impact of the finality of death comes across in Spring Rain where the poet is prepared to confront his own mortality. The poet concludes the poem with the following lines:

But white hair can’t turn green
And staring up at the stars
The old well dies.


The poem Snow Scene on the other hand refers to death with the use of symbolism and is an entirely different perception. The poet says that he would pen verse until his dying day like Van Gogh, to sow seeds of sunflowers across the world. The portrayal of a happy universe is very elegant here The thought too is very creative.

In the poem The Sunny High Plateau the poet touches a cord in remembrance of his forefathers on the sun-worshipped slopes. His latent emotional pattern comes to the surface as he expresses gratefulness to them for helping him cultivate his inborn strength and making him what he is today. He says:

My forefathers began to hunt and fish here
From rivers to forests, from grasslands to Gobi
The endless fresh flowers and milk
The legacy as kind hearted as stars
Have made up my life and my future


The poet is also ridden with sadness as he gets immensely nostalgic in the poem Shandu Sad Song that takes him to the 13th century Yuan Dynasty Empire and the world famous grassland city Shandu built by Genghis Khan which is in ruins today. His usage of the metaphor purple chrysanthemums to express his sadness at its bereft-of civilization state and cultural decay shows his skills with poetic craft. Even though the style is a direct expression of dramatic history, it kind of provides a meditative insight into a profound loss of a once rich city:

I have arrived at the ruins of human civilization
I am a tree which survived for you
Standing for your brilliant sufferings


The poet’s consciousness of a world inflicted with plural wrongs like war etc manifests itself in his poem called Ode To Peace another evocative poem with vivid images.It is resonant with universal appeal and the concluding lines continue to linger in the reader’s mind:

Peace in the morning when you come back
Migratory birds can be seeing flying over the city
Hands can be seen waving and dancing in the sky.


A quest for an elsewhere land of serenity and quiet away from the vortex of an evil-laden diurnal existence is expressed in lucid language in Crossing the Sea. The sensitive poet’s despair and his loss of faith in man results in a moving emotional tone:

Leaving the sea
Many trees and many birds
Part from the unfairness of human
Part from my own wound
Crossing the sea
Someone will stroke my heart


Hadaa leads you to the fragrance of love and of nature with its accompanying vibrance through poems like A Dream, The White Night, Kiss and others and traverses across seasons of love, its different hues and images and its aesthetic construct. His exploration of one of the truest perceptions of the human mind is indeed commendable. His intimate understanding of this emotion surfaces beautifully even as his love poems have a delicacy of touch.

It is said that writing poetry is an exploration. It is a way of struggling with the excitements and tensions of words that associate with and are relevant to the poet’s subject. That is exactly what Hadaa does. Moreover the diversity of themes in Hadaa’s compositions never ceases to amaze the reader. It would be justified to say that Hadaa is a poet of introspection and his deep engagement with the world of words is admirable.

February 4th, 2011

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