Poems from Captured Documents

Paperback (A bilingual ed)
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While the recent opening of relations between Vietnam and the U.S. brings a sense of political closure to the Vietnam war, the emotional repercussions have yet to be sutured. This bilingual collection is an extraordinary effort at drawing those seams closer together. By providing a translation of poetry written by Vietnamese soldiers during the war (gleaned from diaries, journals and letters captured by the American military), poet Weigl ( Song of Napalm ) and Thanh T. Nguyen demonstrate the enemy's humanity. And while the work is often sentimental and simplistic in vision, it provides delicate insight into the soldiers who wrote--their loneliness, grief and daily struggles--and how much they were like our own. Consider lines from ``In the Forest at Night'' by Duc Thanh, a far cry from the stereotypic pathos created by the Western media: ``Oh friends, my mother is old. / She waits for me in our village. / Every night she waits to see me return / So she can finally close her eyes.'' Disarmingly sincere, the poems provide a rare, humane point of view on the war. (July)
Library Journal
A bilingual edition offering poems from the perspective of soldiers who fought against American military personnel, this breakthrough book offers engaging social commentary on the Vietnam War. The translations are poignant, though several of the poems fall into sentimentality. For instance, examine these lines: ``I am a man from far away./But my heart is full of love./I am faithful to that one word, love,/ Love for the people and love for you.'' But there are poems that are very visual and suggestive: ``Tenth night of the moon/ whose light is bright then dim./Everything waits for the moon/To spread its light to cover North and South.'' This unsettling view of an unsettling war is essential for anyone interested in war literature, especially for its historical significance.-Lenard D. Moore, United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake Cty., N.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870239229
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Edition description: A bilingual ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Ban Tay / Hands 2
Y Nghi Cua Toi / My Thoughts 4
Tieng Ru / Voice of the Lullaby 6
Dem Trang / Night of the Moon 8
Xuan / The New Year 10
Nam Dinh Que Toi / My Birthplace, Nam Dinh 14
Vu Em / Wet Nurse 18
Gap Nhau / Meeting 20
Nho Lai Mua Dong / Remembering That Winter 22
Luu Niem Ngay Xanh / A Young Man's Recollection 24
Dem Buon / Sad Night 26
Mot Dem Trang / One Moonlit Night 28
Tuyet Vong / Despair 32
Ra Di / Departure 34
Em Gai Mien Nam / Girl of the South 36
Dem Trang Mung Muoi / Tenth Night of the Moon 38
Trao Tron Linh Hon / Giving My Soul Completely 40
Luu But / Note in My Diary 42
Rung Dem / In the Forest at Night 44
Hy Vong / Hope 48
Can Tho Que Toi/ Can Tho, My Village 50
Nho Lai Tinh Xua / Remembering Past Love 54
Tho Nui Doi / The Couple of the Mountains 56
About the Translators 63
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