‘Seitanto’ (Short Pipe) by Mae Khwae: A Translation to Filipino

(My first translation from Burmese needed a lot of help from locals – I can hardly speak the language yet. The original was taken from the 1966 collection of Classical Burmese poem translations by Friedrich Lustig, which has a brief biography of the 18th Century poetess)


Kuwako, gialukan ako, kahit isang suyop lang daw:
Kung tanggihan ko, baka malain; kung tanggapin ko, baka akalain…
‘Ay hala, kung gusto mo talaga ‘day, ilagay mo
doon sa may kama.’



ဆေးတံတို တညှိုလောက်၊ ရော့သောက်တာ့ပေး၊
မယူလိုက်ကမိုက်လို့ထင်၊ ယူလိုက်ပြန်ကကြိုက်လို့ထင်။
သောက်စေစျင်၊ ကုတင်တွင်၊ ထောင်ခဲ့ကွဲ၊
ညိုနွဲ့ ရဲလေး။ ။
– မယ်ခွေ


Short Pipe

A pipe… a puff…
short as a finger…
I give you
for smoking.

‘If I do not take it
you will think me crude
If I accept it
you will think I like you.

‘If you want me
to smoke it
put it near the bed
my dear one’
– Mae Khwae (translated by Friedrich Lustig)



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