Friday, May 13, 2011

The Song of A Hater of the Rich


This poem was translated from a post by 风雨如 (fengyuru) at maoflag.net on May 5, 2011. The first portion has verses that refer to famous lines and characters in classic poems (such as by Du Fu) and folk tales known to all Chinese. The references then change to famous figures in revolutionary stories and operas from the 1950s and 60s. The last portion refers to recent stories and conditions known to all contemporary Chinese.
The Song of a Hater of the Rich

If I'm wealthy with thousands of slaves
And you're a poor wretch without an inch of silk
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm behind the “Vermillion Gate” indulging in meat and wine
While you're freezing to death along the roadside.
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm the Temple city's boss
And you're an old coal seller
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm a vicious tyrant
And you're an old wreck
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm covered in fine silks
And you raise the silkworms
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If my fingers never get dirty
And you're a potter
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Zhou Papi (a despotic landlord)
And you're Gao Yubao (his poor tenant)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Han Laoliu (a notorious landlord)
And you're Zhao Guangming (the rebellious peasant)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Feng Lanchi (A landlord's bully)
And you're Zhu Laozhong (his victim)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I was Hu Hansan (the murderous landlord)
And you're Pan Dongzi (the orphaned girl)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Nan Batian (the South Tyrant from “Red Detachment of Women”)
And you're Wu Qionghua (the female heroine)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Zuo Shandiao (the Manchurian warlord)
And you're Li Yongqi (the revolutionary soldier)
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I live in a luxurious villa
And you live in a slum

Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I eat delicacies
And you eat black bread 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm driving a Mercedes-Benz
And you're riding a broken down bike

Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I wear Pierre Cardin
And you wear a dirty old shirt 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm wealthy
And you're penniless 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I indulge in sensual pleasures
And you're poor and sick 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I live in the lap of luxury
And you're starving and freezing

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I live a debauched life
And you're in dire straits 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm a guest at a cannibal banquet
And you're my delicious feast 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I were a meat grinder machine
And you're crushed by my gears 

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I have sharp teeth
And you're the food I'm gnawing on
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I were a bloodthirsty devil
And you're blood is dripping from my mouth

 Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I were the boss of a sweatshop
And you're Zhang Haichao whose chest was opened up for a lung exam
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm a foreman who owes you your salary
And you're the migrant worker I hound to death
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm Li Gang
And you're the innocent child beneath my wheels
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I'm a corrupt, immoral official
And you're my brothel girl
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If my annual salary is 60 million yuan
And your monthly salary is 44 yuan 5 jiao
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If I eat a specially prepared diet of organic food
And you eat "transgenic" corn
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If, If, in this bloody world
You're not deaf, blind, an idiot, brain damaged, mentally retarded, or addled by drugs
Wouldn't you hate the rich?

If, if there is a drop of blood left in your veins that has not evaporated
If, if there is a shred of skin on your bones that has not been peeled away
If, if there is a bit of meat in your body that has not been eaten up
If, if your lungs have air sacs that have not been clogged by suffocating gas
 
Wouldn't you hate the rich?
 
If, if you're surviving with a drop of blood, a shred of skin, a bit of meat, a gasp of breadth still left
I believe that you will use that last bit of your life force to
Stand up -
Settle accounts with the rich!
Take a sword to the rich!

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