Bones will Crow is the very first and important step of Myanmar poetry towards the western literature. I would like to thank James Byrne and ko ko thett, who organised this book and Arc who published it, for introducing current Myanmar poetry. James told me that he got to know Myanmar poems through Htein Lin and Vicky Bowman. So I would like to thank them for that and also for their help with translation. And to express my genuine thanks to everytone who have contributed wholeheartedly to this book.
The organizers tried their best for this book. Although the title said this book is written by contemporary poets, the poems are not only by contemporary poets but also by neo-romantic poets like Sayar Tin Moe and Modernist poets like Thitsar Ni, Aung Chemt and Moe Zaw. 'Language' orientated poems which is also a catagory of contemporary poems by Zeyar Lynn and Mg Yu Paing are in this book too.
Moreover this book covers poets of different ages and poems under different -isms. It is a great help to foreigners who want to start learning about Myanmar poets. Female poets, Eaindra and Pandora, are young, smart and independent women wo will be able to support the Myanmar women's poetry which is still the narrow space out of the whole. Although there is diversity in poetic expression, all of the poems in this book have one thing in common. That is, reflecting the actual situations of current society. It is implicity saying that Myanmar poets are the witnesses of history. Publishing a bi-lingual book is also pleasing for those (poets) who have concern for their mother tongue.
Last but not least, Id like to say that although 15 poets of this book are among the best in their own catagory, it is impossible to represent the flourishing Myanmar poetry today. Moreover, there are also some poets whose poems are not in this book, but who are as great and intellectual as those in this book, for instance, older poets such as Nay Mya, Min Htet Maung, Sai Win Myint, Lu San, Hla Than, Win Myint, Khayapyar Htet Lu, Laung Lin Yeikm and younger poets who write online - blogger poets and those who write in old media.
I believe this book knocks at the door of Western poetry/knocks the western poetry dead!
Thitsar Ni, October 2012
This post was written before the tour began.
Below is an extract from Fergal Keane's introduction to the first event on the tour, at SOAS, London 24 October