My poetry’s not mere poetry, no,
but it’s the sound of sobbing from a life,
the din of doors in a dark jail,
the wheeze of two poor wasted lungs,
the thud of earth tossed to bury dreams,
the clash of teeth all chattering from cold,
the cry of hunger from a stomach wrenching wild,
the helpless voice before so many wrecks.
All sounds of life half lived,
of death half died — no poetry, no.
- Nguyen Chi Thien .