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Who Is The Hero Who Carries Half the Sky?

Boshuk Kyi is from Trika, south of the Kokonor in Amdo. She works at the Qinghai Research Center for Tibetan Medicine (མཚོ་སྔོན་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ཁང་།) and studies at the Qinghai Tibetan Medical School (མཚོ་སྔོན་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་གླིང་།). She has been published in numerous journals including Sunlight (ཉི་འོད་།), Dolma (སྒྲོལ་མ), Snowflower (གངས་རྒྱན་མེ་ཏོག) and the very prestigious Light Rain (སྦྲང་ཆར།).

Boshuk Kyi’s poem “Who Is The Hero Who Carries Half the Sky?” won the national Tibetan women’s writing competition in 2011. The poem is a celebration of Tibetan women. Of the women mentioned in the poem, Queen Trimalho was a powerful queen regent of the ancient Tibetan empire of the Yarlung valley, Machik Labdron was a visionary who created the practice of Chod-the only Tibetan to create such a practice instead of importing from India, and Milarepa’s mother was arguably as powerful an influence on his life as his teacher Marpa. But history underestimates their achievement. The below is an excerpt. The original in Tibetan has five more stanzas.

Who Is The Hero Who Carries Half the Sky?

By Boshuk Kyi

Think on our royal history built by empire.
Read the cursive script of our histories.
The pillar and pedestal on which rested that peace and prosperity,
Wasn’t that the discerning wisdom of Queen Trimalho?

When the pure dharma spread in the snow land of Tibet,
There were many translating this Indian dharma into Tibetan.
But inventing a new dharma and sending it to new lands,
Wasn’t that the majestic radiance of Machik Labdron?

We have legends of a thousand Buddhas who have come and gone.
Only the sage Milarepa achieved Buddhahood in one life and one body.
And the cause of his renunciation,
Wasn’t that the ego of his mother Nyangtsa?

When brave men roar and fight the bloody fight,
Map and draw two thirds of this circled world
And drink their victory drinks from the side of their mouths,
Who is the hero who carries half the sky?

Click here to read the original piece.

(Translated by Tenzin Dickyi)

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