This poem Luis Lazaro Tijerina wrote for Vo Nguyen Giap on his 100th Birthday two years before he passed away this year on October 4, 2013.
BIRTHDAY GREETINGS TO GENERAL
VO NGUYEN GIAP
The great son of Vietnam,
how you traveled through the long years
from your village of An Xa, in Quāng Bihn province,
where beautiful orchids and the great Gianh
Rivers, and the Ron and Ly Hoa rivers, flow to the sea
and where the high mountain summits,
Peak Co Rilata and Peak Co Preu,
are covered with green…
Military history and philosophy were your guides,
hidden volcanoes under the swirling snows of the living.
How is it that you have remained so young?
Your mentor Ho Chi Minh, your victory at Dien Bien Phu,
Now memories of the ancient past.
You once said, “My spirit is still young, my heart still remains young.”
On your hundredth birthday,
passed in obscurity
in an Army Hospital in Hanoi,
I send you this bright flower
to go with your gem-stoned Thang Long Dragon.