PEASANTS - MY KINSMEN

(original poem written by Yang Zili, translated by Ah Xiang)
 
*** Details of communist persecutions of four gentlemen (English ver) ***
 
Peasants, you are the bearers of my being.
How much hardship and labor you had endured for sake of bringing me up!
In winds and rains, you work without counting the springs and autumns
Stars and moon above thee, you never escape from the winters and summers.
The wrinkles on thy foreheads are records of the life experiences
The drops of sweating fertilizing the small patch of land below.
Thy youth is already melted into ashes
And hot blood frozen into hard bones.
You had raised a family of 100 million
But why do you still work so hard, year in and year out?
 
Peasants, you are my brothers and sisters
For sake of survival
You had come into cities and towns sacrificing thy youth and sweating.
Look
High on the construction sites are nobody else other than countryboys,
Bending over the sewing machines are nobody else other than countrygirls.
Just for sake of not getting hungary
You have to sustain hazards, bitterness, bullies and tears !
What parents would not care about their children (who wondered around the cities).
For whom had you sacrificed thy golden youth in remote lands?
My brothers, whatever in the cities do not belong to thee
My sisters, do not get sad leaving the cities you had come to like.
Because thy household registers, with the ironed word "peasants",
Had predestined thy returning to the countryside you love and hate so much
And stay there just like thy grandparents and ancestors.
You paved the wide lanes of city roads and built the piercing skyscrapers,
You brought about the prosperity of the markets and the benefits of life.
But why would you possess utterly nothing
Other than humility and hard labor?
 
Peasants, you are my kinsmen.
I don't know how to present my compatriotic red heart.
In face of cruel governance, vicious rascals, barbarity and poverty,
I have my full indignation and hatred, only.
I swear that there must be a day
All the unequalities in China will be wiped out!
How humiliated
I, as thy son,
Am in watching thy staggering steps under the pressure of hardship;
How ashamed
I, as thy brother,
Am to have allowed anyone to despise thee by calling the name of 'peasants'.
"Peasant" is not only thy final and ultimate occupation
But also the ironed mark of humiliation on thy body right after birth.
The land that you cannot disconnect with
Is afloat with the souls of thy forefathers.
How could it be transformed into the iron chains of the Devil
Tightly binding thy feet.
From then on, you never discover
That you are born a human being with inalienable rights to freedom, dignity and value!
While mankind had entered the doorframe of 21st century
And earth had been shrinking into a small village,
you, however, are still plowing the fields with the ancient tools
for providing the foods to the "villagers" of modern society.
 
I have a dream, from very early time on,
A dream that I believe would turn true someday for certainty:
A dream that peasants will be in possession of their own land.
As masters of the land, not slaves,
You operate the modern machinery
Freely plowing, planting and harvesting.
Thy occupation as peasants will become the envy of all
And the free world will be full of love and compassion.