(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JAN 2010







          a poem by  NGUYEN THI THANH BINH

                              translated by Nguyen Ngoc Bich




        A Peace banquet


Awake!... Quickly, get up!

Out there they are celebrating like mad, like crazy

With wine made of mother’s blood—to spice the fermentation

With a scrumptious spread made of father’s marrow

and brother’s meat

Lighted by the green of young sister’s convictions and

the red

of older sister’s illusions, that add to the inebriating music


Peace is here! Peace is here don’t you see?

Awake! … Quickly, get up!

At the Peace Banquet, every guest is solemnly announced

You, an officer of the puppet army

You, a CIA operator

As for that one over there, a reactionary

The old lady there, a bourgeois comprador stingy with

her donations to the Liberation Army…

We’ll get a “superfull meal” that must yield to the watery

“socialist” vegetable soup

The menu today is a hot soup made of tears crying for loss

and expectation

Of each young widow, each orphan, old parents, a beggar

and a streetwalker

Not to mention the many dishes brought back from the

Economic Zone and from God-forsaken forests and swamps

On top of the live “Human Brain dish” slow-cooked in

The Re-education Furnace.

Peace is here! Peace is here, really?


Awake!... Quickly, get up!

How can we not come and partake

Of this splendiferous dinner that was not announced in

Full in the invitation card

With its “unbeatable” desert plate:

A grenade for the vanquished!

Peace is here! Peace… is here, how come no one’s left?


Translated from “Bua tiec hoa binh”

in the poetry collection “Tron vao giac mo em” (1997)

by Nguyen Ngoc Bich, 2010.



The Writers Post
the magazine of literature

& literature-in-translation,

founded 1999, based in the US.




Copyright © Nguyen Ngoc Bich & The Writers Post 2009.

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