INTRODUCTION TO WHO PROMISE ONE ANOTHER / POEMS FROM AN ASIAN WAR
selected , translated from the vietnamese by DON LUCE, J.C. SCHAFER & J. HAGNON.
Lời dẫn : ....tập sách nhỏ in mimeographed - a booklet on vietnamese poetry chẳng có gì sai ! 120 trang khổ nhỏ , Don Luce cùng John C. Schafer & Jacquelyn Chagnon sưu tập, chuyển ngữ sang anh ngữ về chiến tranh Việtnam :
" From Vietnamese mythology comes an aspiring proverb about strugggling towards the impossible and finally succeeding . We dedicate these poems to those who promise :
" To mend the sky and fill the ocean / Vá trời và lấp biển ".
đây là mục lục :
NGUYEN DU : AN ANCIENT MASTER
Kim Vân Kiều 7
Calling the Wandering Souls
THE TWO WORLD OF LUU TRONG LU 17
The Sound of Autumn
When Autumn Ends
Women of the South
GROWING UP IN VIỆTNAM
Invasion Huy Vũ 21
Thirty- Four Years Nguyễn văn Biên 22
Letter to my Father H. T. 24
Please Give Me Back Hoàng Minh Nhân
Auction Phạm Thế Mỹ 31
What A Sight : 550, 000 GI' s
in Vietnam Thế Phong 33
Child of Mỹ Lai Lê Dân 41
I ' d Rather See But Darkness Nguyễn Đình Chiểu 44
Brother Cadre Xuân Thủy 45
Let Us Stand Up Thái Nguyên 47
Poem of Hope Thiên Lý 49
Salt Thu Bồn 51
Daughter of Việtnam Tố Hữu 52
ATTITUDE TOWARD WOMEN
Night Crossing Giang Nam 57
Girl of Việtnam Trịnh Công Sơn 60
Black Flower A High School
Student from Đà Nẵng 62
LOVE' S SADNESS
A Guerrilla' s Tale Giang Nam 67
Girl of the South Tế Hanh 69
Splinters of Remembrance A Student from the
University of Dalat 71
Bright Eyes Looking Up Hồ Bắc 73
MOTHER, I DO NOT TO KILL MY BROTHERS
A Dream Which has Withered Hoàng Minh Nhân 77
The Present A High School Student from Đà Nẵng 79
Dead Bodies A Student 81
Fruit of War Thy Can 82
Music on Battlefield Nhuệ Hà 83
Mother, Raise Me to Be
a Prisoner Miên Đức Thắng 85
TRỊNH CÔNG SƠN
Heritage of Our Mother Land 89
Love Song of a Woman Maddened By the War 91
I Shall Go Visiting 92
POEMS FROM PRISON
Breaking Rocks on Côn Sơn Phan Chu Trinh 97
Tung Chun Prison Hồ Chí Minh 98
On the Way to Nanning Hồ Chí Minh 98
Pastoral Scene Hồ Chí Minh 98
Poems from Prison Thảo Giang 99
Sweet Red Blood of the Earth Lê Gianh ( Giang ?) 102
Our Unity Kiến Nam 103
The Prison Island of Côn Sơn Thép Xanh 106
Walton ' s Recreation Camp Cửu Long 108
NHAT CHI MAI
I Kneel Down and Pray
THICH NHAT HANH : PRAYERS FOR PEACE
Night of Prayer 115
Two Phoenixes : Symbols of Peace Trần Khánh Tuyết 1
Studying Hồng Hải 2
Kim Meets Kiều Nguyễn Tử Nghiêm 5
A Wanderer Thái Hà 12
Placid Waters Artist unknown 15
Deer in Autumn Artist unknown 17
Mother Nam , a Guerrilla Leader Huỳnh Phương Đông 19
A Combatant of the NLF Huỳnh Phương Đông 19
Child Pulling an Oxen Trần Đại Quang 20
Youth Huỳnh Phương Đông 21
Young School Boy Nguyễn Hồng Sơn 23
A Child Guerrilla Thái Hà 25
Please Give Me Back Hoàng Minh Nhân 27
Hue , 1968 * Võ Đình 30
The Yankee have Passed By Here ! Lê Hồng Hải 35
Humiliation A Student 37
Machine I ** Võ Đình 40
The return * Võ Đình 41
A Mother Pears Artist unknown 42
Cartridges Taken from the Enemey Thái Hà 45
Congress of Caombatants Thái Hà 46
Day the revolution Begins Phạm Hữu Lương 48
Lotus Moon ** Võ Đình 49
Liaison Poste Tân Long Châu 51
A Chu- Chi Woman Guerrilla Huỳnh Phương Đông 53
Sadness Tôn Thọ Quân 54
Vietnmaese Girl Poised Near a Pillow Bé Ký 55
Vietnamese Girl Carrying her Hat Bé Ký 56
Bridge Destroyed by the Guerrillas Huỳnh Phương Đông 59
Young Girl Huỳnh Phương Đông 60
A View Bùi Văn Minh 64
Anger Mao Trí Thiền 68
A Resister Huỳnh Phương Đông 70
Splinters of Remembrance Hoàng Minh Nhân 72
Vietnamese Eyes Artist unhnown 75
Of the Same Mother ** Võ Đình 77
A Fighter Writes to his Family Thái Hà 80
After Combat Huỳnh Phương Đông 84
You Will Have Revenge , My Child Huỳnh Phương Đông 85
From Suffering Rises the Bird of Peace Bửu Chỉ 88
Voice form the Burning House Võ Đình 90
Shrine on the Side of the Road Tôn Thọ Quân 93
Pacification Va 96
Testify A Former Prisoner 100
Strength Bửu Chỉ 101
Underground Nguyễn văn Kính 105
The Cry for Justice * Võ Đình 107
Shackled in the Tiger Cage A Former Prisoner 110
Visage Võ Đình 113
Prayer for Peace Artist unkown 117
* Taken from a series of eight woodcuts entitled Crimson Silk ( Hợp Tập
Nhiều Điều ) . The series depicts the artist' s cry of despair over the killing
of Vietnamese by Vietnamese during the Têt offensive of 1968.
** Taken from Cry of Vietnam , Unicorn Press , Santa Barbara , California .
( Don Luce ' s notes ) .
Bài vào đề ba vị sưu soạn thơ - mà trong 2 giỏi tận tường việt ngữ ( Don Luce, John C, Schafer ) - đã chuyển ngữ tuyển tập thơ WE PROMISE ONE ANOTHER ( tạm dịch Đợi ngày chiến thắng ) dành tặng cho những ai ăn cơm dưới đất nói chuyện trên trời - sau cùng , hóa ra họ cũng hoàn tất việc " vá trời và lấp biển" !
Riêng tôi, ban đầu có đôi chút khó chịu - bài thơ ' What A Sight , 550,000 GI' s in Vietnam ! bị Don Luce tự ý đưa vào tuyển tập thơ phản chiến - khiến Tòa Đại sứ Hoa kỳ tại Việtnam đã từ chối không cấp visa cho phép một nhà văn miền Nam duy nhất được mời sang Huê Kỳ tham dự International Writing Program ở Iowa trong thập niên 60 .
Đường Bá Bổn .
I n t r o d u c t i o n
DON LUCE , JOHN C. SCHAFER & JACQUELYN CHAGNON
These are the poems of the young of Vietnam. They express the hopes and sorrows of a youth which has known only war . There is little joy . Joy does not comes often to a land which shines through in rare moments . Tragically, the love is often for a friend lost in the war .
There is hatred too . This is the consequence of brother being pitted against brother . It is the result of a gforeign army trying to protect the corrupt and power - hungry .
Underlying all else in these poems is the closeness of the family and the great love for Việtnam . The respect and veneration of the ancestors is told here , the struggle to be worthy of the family is recorded in the writings of the youth .
These are the poems that have sent the young to jail - - and the poems that were written in jail . Some were smuggled out of the jails like Côn Sơn and Chí Hòa , meticulously copied by hand and passed from youth to youth . Others were printed in underground newspapers and distributed in the crowded corridors of the schools and at the secret meeting places of the youth . Many of the poems have been put to music by the popular young songwriters : Tôn Thất Lập , Trịnh Công Sơn , Miên Đức Thắng . These are sung wherever the youth meet ... at work camps , in crowded cafes , by lovers , in the prisons and during street demonstrations .
The Vietnamese love poetry . Their culture is best understood by their poems . Though Vietnamese recognize the superior talent of their especially gifted poets and songwriters , they do not consisder poetry and song to be the special property of a small group of literati . They are for everyone . Farmers , soldiers, and students all write poems . At the end of a party each person sttending is usually expected to sing a song or recite a poem .
The interest in poetry is part of the Vietnamese love of beauty , their devotion to aesthetics which is evident in their approach . They are fond of saying of a particularly courageous and inspiring person that his life was like a poem . Nowhere are poetry and life more closely interested than in Việtnam .
But few outsiders have read the poems and understood the culture of Việtnam . Few have listened to the voices of the people of Việtnam . We can also appreciate their beauty and the evidence they provide of the courage of a people who can still sing after years of unrelieved and war .
The words are simple , but there is a depth of meaning . There are, however . diffciculties in appreciating poetry filtered through literary and cultural sensibilities very different from our own . To many Western readers these poems may seem overly sentimental and even perhaps self - indulgent . We may tire when we hear continually of poor suffering Việtnam ,
doomed love affairs, prison tortures, war and death . But one must remember that these are all a part of life in Việtnam today , and Vietnmaese cannot avoid them . In the poem " The Present " , the poet tells of sitting down to write his girlfriend a love letter but finds the words " I love " slanted by the explosion of rockets , shaking his hand holding the pen . he ends by saying
" Some day when there's peace / I will write you a different poem ".
When one considers all that hs happened to Việtnam , it is remarkable that Vietnamese have not lost their ability to hope . In a collection of songs called " Songs from the Devasted
Fields " , Miên Đức Thắng, a popular young songwriter and singer , expresss what has happened to his land and people . These songs , particularly " Mother Raise Me to Be
a Prisoner " , are very critical of the Thiệu regime and its American Allies . Miên Đức Thắng was put in prison for singing them , but he does not give in to despair . In the title song , " Song from the Deveasted Fields " , he sings :
From the devasted fields of today we sing these songs ;
Despite a thousand frighful years our life is still happy ,
Though weariness is printed on our dry hand ,
We will never give up .
Though our fields now are abandoned we will still work for tomorrow ,
Though our fields now are destroyed and lie fallow , ,
Tomorrow flowers will blossom nd the future will be bright .
So let us go and recultivate our fields ,
So we can live and die in our homeland ;
And tomorrow our land will flourish with new ricefields ,
Tomorrow our land will blossom with more smiles ,
Tomorrow our land will be greener than the mountains and hills ,
For tomorrow we are determined to live in our land .
In the next we are taught to suspect those who wear their hearts on their sleeves . Many of us cling to the belief that an emotional cry from the heart should be restrained and are ashamed or reluctant to give in to our true feelings . With us there is the real danger that the levels of self- control we achieve may make us forget the validity of the feeling they are designed to mask . And it is wrong , it would seem , for Americans who can absorb the horrors of a Mỹ Lai and saturation bombing of a land and people with only ripples of guilt in the national consciouness to pass judgment on people who have not lost their capacity to weep in the face of suffering . These poems are affirmations of feelings on the part of a people who have long been treated by many Americans as if they had no feelings . By reading their poetry we can learn what has happened to them , and hopefully , what has happened to us .
DON LUCE, JOHN C. SCHAFER & JACQUELYN CHAGNON.
( from WE PROMISE ONE ANOTHER , POEMS FROM AN ASIAN WAR /
selected, translated by DON LUCE, J.C. SCHAFER & J. CHAGNON /
Published by The Indochina Moblie Education Proje t - Washington, D .C. 1971 - p. 1- 4 ).