They leave rice fields to travel far and wide:
who doesn’t count on them for sustenance?
Doffing their golden coats, they bask in sun;
displayed in every place, they shine like jade.
Time after time, their forebears saved the realm—
for centuries their breed has fed our folk.
By fire and water they’ll forsake their lives:
is anyone aware what they do?
About this poem
This poem, representing Vietnam, is part of The Written World – our collaboration with BBC radio to broadcast a poem from every single nation competing in London 2012.