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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Comment : No Entry for the Poet

Comment : No Entry for the Poet

Turn the poet away from the city gates, NO ENTRY,

Number of men keep the skies of their eyes open

forever careful, busy watchmen.

Somebody has brought the whispery news

the poet has reached the city limits,

Men are swirling around him

as he reads out from a green manuscript

in a resonant voice,

men fall enchanted like a child

mothers chant sons;

Men are stunned with joy,

as if after a long internment

they themselves suddenly in their own parlor;

Only one line is read but

thousands request are there

"please, please, please again."

No, not from the city gates

but from far, far off, send the poet away.

Not one of his words are allowed inside,

In his words men can see their own homes,

find peace;

What incantations is in his words

What words in his lex?

There is dirge-news in some quarters,

A few words like guerrillas have entered the main city.

The citizens wait intensely for them,

It has been heard

breaking the ban

the poet has entered the city.

- Translated by Afsan Chowdhury



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