At Thirty, the Party Is Over

Of course I know
That I liked the activists rather than activism
That I liked the boozing atmosphere than the booze itself
And that I enjoyed not the protest song starting with Oh
My Comrade!
but the love songs hummed in a low voice
but why on earth does it matter.

The party is over.
The booze's run out and although everyone has collected their wallets
and at last he's also left but
although the bill's been sorted out and everybody's fled
in their shoes
but vaguely I know that
there will be someone remaining here all alone
cleaning up the table for the taverner
remembering every bit and shedding hot tears
that somebody will start with correction the song he's
left unfinished
perhaps I know
that somebody instead of him will set up a table and before the dawn
get the people together again
will[1] put on all the lights and refurbish the stage.

But why on earth does it matter?

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Comments (6)

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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