Ma Ei

Ma Ei

Her name is Ma Tin Ei alias May Oo. Her pen name is Ma Ei. She was born on 23 October 1948 in Hinthada, Ayeyawaddy Division, in Myanmar. She reached Eleventh Grade in education.

Her poetic debut, ‘A lighting Flash of Smile’, appeared in the Family Circle (Mithasu Waing) Magazine in 1977. Her first short story entitled, ‘My love a stranger’, was published in the Insatiable Gaze (Shumawa) Magazine. She has written 200 poems, about 100 short stories, about 100 interviews and short and long artistic articles, a novel entitled, ‘A Rose Carriage’, and three books of knowledge namely, ‘About Men’, ‘At The Age Of Over Twenty’, and ‘About Women’. Her short story, ‘In A Melancholic Grove’, published in Ywetnuwai Magazine won Magazine short story award. Her poem entitled, ‘A Reader For those who Love As Well As those who Hate’, published in Yati Magazine in 2009, also won Htanyeiknyo (One of Art and Literary Activities in Mandalay, Upper Myanmar) Award.

After 14 poems and 2 short stories had been published in Moewai and Shumawa Magazines, she joined the underground insurgency movement of the Communist Party of Myanmar in August, 1982. She intended to serve the People and the Party with her well-learned literature and culture during the armed revolution. Her duties involved propaganda campaign, tax-collection and Teaching (as a school teacher). Apart from those duties, she was a war reporter for 202 warzone for the whole year in 1984. In 1989, she quit the Communist Party of Myanmar and became a squadron officer for logistics in No.1, Kachin State special peace zone in the north-eastern Myanmar. In 1995, she came back to Yangon as one of the enlisted prisoners, handed over to the government by No.1, Kachin State special peace zone.

She has been contributing poems, long and short, and articles to the various magazines of Myanmar until now. She felt that the literature anywhere is still within the confines (internally). There is a lack of freedom. She has been leading her life as a divorcee, a widow, etc. She has also acquired everlasting writing materials due to the unfairness among people. She has been longing for the moment when she can have the right to write her internal feelings offering unbiased opinions until her last breath.

She is currently working on the book entitled … ‘To The Liberal Youth’.




Up on the fragmented heart hill,

There is a turn ahead.

In the east,

Under the shade, behind the hill

Lies my love.


Excuse me, Mr. driver.

Please, don’t give a sharp toot

On your horn.

And don’t crash into the gear, too.

I’m afraid,

That will wake my babe up.



Just stop your singing

In order that

He won’t lose his sleep


The car,

Sliding down the slope

In the valley of ‘Hsadonebar’.

Feeling grief-stricken within my heart,

Taking a gentle breath,

My both cheeks become warmer.

Let it grieve me to die.

It’s far … far away, now.


As my last treat,

To compose a farm of grief and

A flower bed of frustration,

That portray the rhythm within myself

Needs a burning song of longing

Of the one left behind

A sigh and a drop of tear.

But then again, I’m afraid, I wonder

If it means a bowl of poison

To trouble the one

Ever-resting and sleeping.


If so,

Oh, Buddha, …. Celestial King, and Deities!

Guard me.

Rescue me.

Have mercy upon me.


Oh, travelling companions!

Just veil the No.5 seat

With a thin, green shawl

That he might not see me.


Although it has happened recently,

It approaches 465 days.

It’s the news

That has never been published yet.

The love boat that belongs to both of us

And …. The flower-basket

That contains … ‘kisses’ overturned



Your sun has set.

Even in infancy,

You’ve lost the birthday presents

That will be given by Dad, your benefactor.



In the prime of your life,

You are deprived of loving-kindness, sympathy.

Let it be an act of God!


It is punishment, is n’t it?

My Love’s look, voice,

Body-odour, the casting shadow …..

All have gone,

Loss is but for me.

Let it be the first!

Beautifully and cruelly,

And tastefully-punished.


My lifespan’s been seriously injured

Since the beginning of it,

Even though it has never been built

Only on love.


In the round of rebirths,

There is nothing-weird and wonderful!

It’s going on incessantly and repeatedly.

I fall down.

But I raise myself to my feet.

What a poetess I am!

Is it what we often say ..‘Nature’?

It’s said I stay away.

I stay too far away.

It’s true our lives become different.

I keep my chin up

And hold my tears.

I have an invaluable paint-brush

And the poetic golden hands to use it

As I’m tryng to repaint

My thickly darkened life.


Along a life’s journey,

I routinely wear flowers

I keep on going

Am I the one who kneels down

And surrender?

I’m still excited

To be noble

As long as my blood circulates,

I will sacrifice my life …

For my poem unfinished

And for my song still being written.

Oh! My dear son,

On my way home,

Tomorrow morning,

Let the thorns pierce my skin!

The fruit of future

Is to be pluck

To offer you my child.

Poem : Ma Ei

English Text : Maung Win War


The Bell That Clanged Cracked


 A condolence basket of flowers,

A mélange of colours,

Meritoriously done by the fifth graders

For his better dwelling beyond.


The buds not fully open;

The petals shriveled;

The flowers namely Thawka;

Zizawa, setkya, ponnayeik …;

A mélange of floral shapes

Dripping with tears

For him.


Bare footed

And killed by lockjaw,

He has to lie

On a box of pine.


Saunter into …. Gloomy, far!

Seek three refuges within!

The recitation of an aged ascetic

Before him is an offertory

That counts five kyats

Be in the up-kingdom!


He who helped mum and dad survive,

Shared their griefs,

Was left pencilless and

With nothing to write on,

And uncharitable.

All gone.


The sound,

Hammering the nail into the coffin-lid is heard.

The tongue poisoned,

The grief stricken,

Sobs, stops, …. And sobs;


‘Folks, a nail pierced his heel!’

Screaming out,

Mum, the fritter vendor, rolls herself on the ground.

Will there be an unoccupied seat

On the last row,

In the classroom.

Will your name be skipped

When the roll is called.

Will one drill book be missing

When all are handed in.

Will your soul be released

From being punished to stand straight on the bench.

The words:

‘You may go wherever you soul shows,’ are heard.

Turning one’s deaf ear,

Holding one’s tongue,

Sobbing …. Sobbing,

The voices annoying,

Are no more beyond the bound of cemetery.

Tomorrow morning,

When the school begins,

The lady-teacher

With her shaky hands

Will find herself nervy

To toll the school bell.


Poem by Ma Ei

English Text by Maung Win War


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