A Poem for Burma (with an Update)

This morning, self watching CNN: At a press conference, Burma’s ex- Prime Minister is appealing for more aid.

But this morning brought the news that the current leaders of (so-called) Myanmar have refused to allow in USAID workers, with resulting widespread confusion and dismay.

Yesterday, self’s friend Kyi sent her this poem. It is by Ko Ko Thett, who was born in Rangoon in 1972. His studies at Rangoon Institute of Technology were cut short following his involvement in the December 1996 student uprising. He left Burma after a spell of detention in July 1997. In Bangkok, he worked for Burma Programme at the Jesuit Refugee Service-Asia Pacific until his resettlement in Finland in December 2000. As an independent researcher, Ko Ko Thett has taught, written, and commented extensively on Burma since 1999. As of 2008, he is reading peace and conflict studies at the University of Helsinki, while keeping his dream of return alive.

Nargis Cyclone

The storm struck at dawn.
Blow, blew, blown!
I was thrown into a space unknown.
As I float, my body begins to bloat.
Am I swimming among a million corpses?
A million of my compatriots?
I hear women wailing on the shore.
Is it the muted weep of dying children
I’ve never heard before?

Ko Ko Thett

* * * *

In other news today, 10 May 2008, the ruling junta in “Myanmar” has stooped to a new low: Myanmar’s military regime distributed international aid Saturday but plastered the boxes with the names of top generals.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

1 Comment

  1. June 24, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this fine poem, and your interest in Burma.


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