Thứ Ba, 21 tháng 2, 2012

WE PROMISE ONE ANOTHER / TỐ HỮU / Don Luce introduced ...

We promise one another / poems from an Asian war
Don Luce and... introduced ..

                              DAUGHTER OF VIỆTNAM 
                                    By Tố  Hữu  ( b.  1920  - d.  2002 )

                  TỐ HỮU   is one of the greatest living poets of Việtnam .   He has
                  consistently expressed the hopes of the revolutionary forces in his
                  country .  Born in Huế  in 1920 ,  he was arrested for anti-colonial
                  activities when he was nineteen ,  but escaped three years  later .
                  He became  president of the Committee of Resurrection of Huế in
                  1945 .  In 1951 ,  he was admitted as a member to the Central
                  Commitee of the Lao Động  ( Workers ) Party .
                   He is respected for having achivied in his work a remarkable
                   synthesis of traditional and modern motifs and for his sensi -
                  tivity to the aspiration of the common people of Việtnam .
                                              ( DON LUCE ' s note )

                                      Who are  you my sister ,  young girl or ghost ?
                                      How old are you or have you no age ?
                                      Is this your hair or clouds or stream ?
                                      Are those your eyes that look at me ?
                                      Or was it the lightning in the storm ?
                                      Is your body flesh or bronze ?

                                       Let me kiss your frozen feet ,
                                       Let me hold tight your hands ,
                                      Your fragile hands ,  your abused body .

                                       Wake up my sister ,
                                       The nightmare is over ,
                                       You live again ,  sister , 
                                       You really live   ;
                                       The searing electric shock ,
                                       The piercing point ,
                                       The brilliant  knife ,
                                       The consuming fire ,
                                        Have not killed you , heroic girl ,
                                       You heart , my sister
                                       With one  drop of blood
                                        It will beat again
                                       And  it will not beat for you alone .

                            It will beat for justice ,
                            For your  native village ,  for your country ,
                            For humanity .

                            From the regions of death ,  you have come back
\                                                                                               to us
                             As on the day you went away when the nation  called ;
                             You have come back . daughter of glory ,
                             The whole country embraces you
                             As flesh of its fleshs and blood of its blood ,
                             You live again for you have conquered.
                             The whole country is by your side
                             Surrounding the white sheets of your bed .

                    I sing for you as your mother did in days gone by
                    Rocking you to the song of the Thu Bồn ferrymen
                   The whole country is yours ,
                    For you it gives blood , day after day
                   To recolour your cheeks ,
                   To add luster to your hair ,
                   Your body will regain the charm of a flower .

                    You will stand erect on firm legs ,
                    You steady feet will return to their native village
                    You will go on that immense , wild road
                     As in days gone by
                    When silver stars shone ,
                     Oh,  your bright eyes ,  when they look at me
                     May they always shine with that steely glint  ,
                     With that flame of confidence ,
                     The glint and confidence of your native land
                     Oh my sister ,  daughter of Việtnam .
                        TỐ HỮU .

                    (   from   WE PROMISE ONE ANOTHER - poems from an asain war ,  selected, translated
                                by DON LUCE ,    JOHN C. SCHAFER & JACQUELYN CHAGNON ,  published by
                                The Indochina Mobile Education Project,    Washington,   D.C. 1971 - p.   52  - 54 ).

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