a poem by THE PHONG
translated BY ĐAM XUÂN CẬN
He wrote poems to sing freedom and to denounce slavery
His wish to be a willow tree on the windy coast
He wrote in poems
this world is full of great expectations
He and a deep love for less lucky countrymen
His hate :
the trucks of screaming prisoners
on the way to court
To make money
was the last thing he would think of
He lived a good life,
he was nice to those around him
He even shared the poverty of his fellow mates
He spent many years to pore over books
in the university
His talking straight
and thinking straight endeared him
in the eyes of many
He solemny swore,
I will never do bad things to others
He wept over the death of Frederic Gacia Lorca
the Spanish poet
He pointed to the picture of Francisco Franco
loudly condemning him as a cruel man
He paid homage to Vietnamese hero Nguyễn Tháí Học
" I shared his conviction and held him in admiration".
Time passed ...
Time was a great master
time taught us to do good is never easy
Many a night I could not sleep
because of him
Now that he was a judge,
be betrayed his own beliefs
Holding the conspiration notice,
he shrugged his head
' Tell me, what is this all about
I only want to live
I am afraid to die
I love myself
I have only one life and I don't want to lose it "
He burst out crying as a little kid.
On the way home
I could not say a word !
Saigon, July 2, 1963.
( from' Uplifting Poems' in ' Asian Morning Western Music
poems by The Phong.
This Edition- Jan 2012- Ho Chi Minh City)