Tag Archives: Prison Poems

Without the cold and blackness of winter
The warmth and splendour of spring could never be.
Misfortunes have steeled and tempered me
And even more strengthened my resolve.

Ho Chi Minh, ‘Advice To Myself’, from The Prison Poems of Ho Chi Minh, trans. by The Binh Dang

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I have never been given to chanting verse;
But what else can a captive do in jail?
These long days I’ll spend composing poems:
Singing may ease the wait for freedom.

Ho Chi Minh, ‘Beginning the Diary’, from The Prison Poems of Ho Chi Minh, trans. by The Binh Dang