A VOICE FROM PRISON

HCM Today, I hand over my blog to Ho Chi Minh on the occasion of his 125th Birthday. Here is a poem from his famous Prison Diary written in 1942, in a Chinese jail. He was held there under unspeakable conditions as a suspected spy. Once released, his condition was so poor that his US VWII military trainers,  the famous Deer Team agents, reported to Washington, that they feared he soon would be dead. At the time, Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh guerillas were considered an important US ally in the war against the Japanese.  Ho Chi Minh did recover in his jungle hide-out, but remained frail until his death in 1969.   

AUTUMN NIGHT

Before the gate, a guard with a rifle on his shoulder.

In the sky, the moon flees through clouds.

Swarming bed bugs, like black army tanks in the night.

Squadrons of mosquitoes, like waves of attacking planes.

I think of my homeland. I dream I can fly far away.

I dream I wander trapped in webs of sorrow.

A year has come to an end here.

What crime did I commit?

In tears I write another prison poem.

deerteam

Ho Chi Minh and the later general Vo Nguyen Giap with the “Deer Team” – the US agents from the OSS (later CIA) who trained the Vietnamese guerillas during the VWII struggle against the Japanese occupation of Vietnam.

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