At Thirty, the Party Is Over

Fact is,
the revolutionaries were cooler than the revolution,
the booze was better than the bar,
and that 'O My Comrade' anthem
sucked —
(though I did hum along to those corny love songs).
But what the hell —

the party is over,
the booze has run dry, wallets are emptied and, finally,
even he's left —
but, although the bill's been split, and they've all got their
and even though the place is deserted —
I know there's someone still lurking
wiping tables clean for the boss
remembering all the highs and shedding hot tears
someone who knows every word of the unfinished songs
someone — not him — who'll maybe
set up the tables by morning
who'll invite them all back
who'll rig up the lighting and repaint the stage —

sure. But what the hell.

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Comments (14)


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C.P. Ravikumar

The translation by Hayeon Na is amazing.


Great website! I love this poem. Thanks.


Both of the two transltions are good ;forthe poem itself is excellent and its axial theme is too strong and clear to be submerged by translation


lovely.  i like the frankness of the voice.

Bobby(from wyoming)

yo love the poetry, really drew me into it.

Hayeon Na

Here is an alternative translation of the poem sent in by Hayeon Na:

Of course I know,

Yes, Of course I know that I’ve enjoyed
the revolutionist rather than the revolution,
the bar rather than the drinks.

And when I was lonely,
I’ve enjoyed the sweet low hum of a love song
Rather than an ‘O Comrade’ anthem.

But does it matter now?
The feast is over.

the liquor’s gone,
and though people left one by one;
finally even he,
after paying their dues,
and finding their shoes,

I know, in the back of my mind,

There will be somebody here, alone,
cleaning up the table for the hostess,
remembering everything with her bitter scalding tears,

she will finish the unfinished song that he had started.

Yes, maybe, I know.

she will set up the table and call them back
before the sunrise.

she will light the stage once more
with all preparations done.

But does it matter now?
But does it matter now.

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