From the Vaults: Vietnam Workers’ Party, 1953

The Vietnam Communist Party was formed in 1930. It  was subsequently known as  the Indochinese Communist Party before changing its name to the Vietnam Workers’ Party (Dang Lao Dong Viet Nam) in 1951. Ho Chi Minh was unanimously elected as Party Chairman and  the ideology was “Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism and Mao Tse-tung thought.”  The Vietnam Workers’ Party had its own poet, To Huu. On the death of Stalin in 1953 he penned the lines republished on page 18 of Bui Tin’s book, Following Ho Chi Minh: The Memoirs of a North Vietnamese Colonel, (Bathurst NSW Australia: Crawford House Publishing Pty Ltd, 1995):

Stalin, oh Stalin, alas He is gone!

Do heaven and earth still exist?

Devotion to father, to mother, to husband,

Devotion to Him ten times more than to oneself.

Love for the children, for the country, for the race

But so much more love for Him.

In the old days, we were so withered and desolate

With Him there is joy

In the old days, there was hunger and torment

With Him there is more than enough rice to fill the pot.

On occasion, this blog is fortunate to have Michael Rosen appear in the comments boxes. Perhaps he would like to comment on this poem’s meter?  If there was “more than enough rice to fill the pot,” why did millions die of starvation in Ukraine? I should be grateful if anyone can help with this puzzling question.

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