The poem was entitled “The Streets of Hanoi,”
It told of falling bombs and death and destruction
And misery and pain and wastage.
The poem was set to music, which told of death
And destruction and misery and pain and wastage.
A hall was found to play it in, a singer to sing it,
An orchestra to accompany the singer, and a printer
To print the programme…Whereupon it was felt
(Things being what they happened to be) that
The song had better be called “The Streets of Saigon.”
It was well sung, well played, and well received.
Truly poetry is international, just like music,
And falling bombs and death and destruction
And misery and pain and wastage,
Truly we only need one poet in the world
Since local references can be inserted by editors,
Theatre managers or clerks in the Culture Ministries.
August 13, 1970