For archive (Updated on January 29, 2019)
I received 17 e-mail responses after I wrote the “Saya Pu Zaw Pwe” poem. All of them mentioned about my “hidden talent”. Only a few knew that I had written articles and translations with pen names such as
- “Tekkatho Ga Ga Na Na” (first published in the “Set Hmu Thadin Zin”)
- “Hlaing Phyo” (for articles and translations)
- Hla Min (Systems)” (for computer related materials)
- Maung Hla Min (for poems)
It was a fashion in Burma to use pen names. Or, may be I was just dabbling with the idea that I might some day became a real big-time writer.
In many of my columns on the web site, I reiterated that “What one man can dream, others can fulfill” (with a reference to Jules Verne).
In July 1969, men landed on the moon. Since there was no TV then in Burma, we had to tune in to the radio to hear “The Eagle [lunar module of the Apollo 11 mission] has landed [on the moon].”
To commemorate the event, I wrote a few stanzas:
MEN ON THE MOON
The Eagle made a soft descent
And perfect rendezvous
Does not the module represent
A fantasy come true.
To travel through that cold void space
To have that faith in science
To face death squarely in the face
Yes, man acted with defiance.
Man set foot on an alien world
In July, sixty nine
That small step from the bravest man
Was a giant leap for mankind.
The walk in one sixth gravity
Rock samples from the moon
Three men who spoke with brevity
For science what a boon.
Oh, three courageous gentlemen
We give you our salute
To countless other helping hands
We humbly pay tribute.
No event can ever equal
This sublime unique mission
The Apollo’s triumph will make the people
Extend their own vision.
Are we not brothers here on earth?
So let us all unite.
There will be heaven here on earth
If we all cease to fight.
To my surprise and delight, “Men on the Moon” was published by the Guardian daily.
Daw Khin Swe Hla (Sunday Supplement Editor of the Working People’s Daily) coaxed me to translate “Still So Young” — a short story by the well known writer, actor and movie director Saya U Thu Kha. I received fifty kyats for my translation. Saya U Thu Kha received fifty kyats.
Thanks to people (notably my teachers and my parents) who believed in me more than I [believe in myself].
Ko Ivan Lee (M69) wrote
Ko Hla Min
I am glad to say :
Your poetry (Saya Puzaw Pwe), is gorgeous and touching, and showing your eternal gratitude to RIT teacher and alumni.
It is a creating and an artistic poem at the the excellent timing of 2012 reunion cerebration.
Ivan [Lee, Khin Maung Oo, M 69]