Written in 759 during the height of the An Lushan rebellion. "Stonemoat" (ShÃhÃ¡o) is a village in Henan province. Press-gangs were combing the villages, looking for men who could be forced into military service to replace the imperial army's massive losses against An Lushan.
The Conscription By Du Fu Translated by A.Z. Foreman So I stopped at sundownã€€to rest in Stonemoat Village ã€€They came in the night ã€€to collar more men for war The old inn-keeperã€€slipped out over a wall ã€€While his elderly wifeã€€went out to the front door Such angry curses ã€€the pressgang officer bellowed ã€€Such pitiful tearsã€€the woman sobbed away I listened to herã€€proffer regretful pleas: ã€€I had three sonsã€€all serving at posts in Yeh1 One of my boysã€€ just told me in a letter ã€€The other two ã€€were killed in the attack The one aliveã€€ won't last on borrowed time ã€€The dead are gone ã€€dead boys do not come back There aren't any moreã€€men left to this household ã€€Just my grandsonã€€still nursing with his mother My daughter cannotã€€leave him here just yet ã€€And a shredded skirt ã€€is all she has for cover I'm an old woman ã€€I know my strength is gone ã€€But please let me come ã€€tonight with your convoys If you've urgent need ã€€in Heyang2 I can be there ã€€In time to cookã€€ some breakfast for our brave boys As night drew on ã€€all sounds of speaking stopped ã€€I thought I heardã€€a whimper being choked down Rising at dawnã€€ to get back on the road ã€€ ã€€I took my leave ã€€of the old man aloneã€€
On Wheels Of Fortune By Alexander Germano Translated by A.Z. Foreman Click to hear me recite the original in Romani What fate, what fortune we keep seeking Roaming the roads and woods for years! And what in seeking have we seen? Oh we have seen our share of tears. We sing all day, we sing at night. That is where drunkards' Fortunes lie. We like the horse, we like the whip, Believe in something in the sky. Devil and God can't do a damn. The cards deal us a pack of lies. What do they do but do us in, And raze us down where we would rise? The time has come for better living. We're free to make ourselves at home. Fortune won't smile in campgrounds.... Lets move on from the need to roam. The Original:
This line contains some Romani wordplay. Te podriskires is "to undermine" and the line podriskÃrna dÅ¾iiben translates as "and (they) undermine (our) lives." However, this echoes, the better to subvert, a far more mundane phrase podrikÃrna dÅ¾iiben "they support, maintain our lives."