Gaylong Sumdar Tashi (songs of sorrow)
Even more than two hundred years after the death of monk Sumdar Tashi, his presence in Bhutan is evident. He is especially known among the monks because they are able to recite some lines of his Lozey, and give an account of separation from his family to join the monastic body as a monk. He was married and had a son by the time he was asked to become a monk. Although such experiences were not uncommon at one stage in our history, no one could elevate such an account into a poetic form like Sumdar Tashi, and leave a piece of serious art for us to enjoy. It is a simple, yet a deeply evocative piece in elegant Dzongkha which enabled it to gain popularity even with the lay people. As a classic Dzongkha literature, I welcome this skilful translation by Sonam Kinga, which is presented side by side with the original Lozey. The Lozey shows how profound experiences and emotions could be described in Dzongkha, and how language came into being so long the No for poetic expressions to convey the depth of feelings. more If the Bhutanese readers come to appreciate this fact why Drongkha can not continue to be an strongly through this book, there is no reason abiding medium for serious art.