01 January 2010

English Translation of the Revolutionary Filipino Poem, Shed your Tears My Country

This is an English translation of the poem Shed your Tears My Country written originally in Filipino by the Filipino poet Amado V. Hernandez. The poem was a rallying cry of the student activism in the 1970's. It flourished at a time of great upheaval and discontent among the youth of established institutions and rebellion against the established order.

Students stood up against the ill-effects of foreign domination in the political and economic life of the Filipino nation. The poem captured accurately the sentiments of the people against all forms of oppression brought about by the foreign influence on all spheres of life of the Filipinos. Below is my literal translation of the poem into English.

Shed Your Tears, My Country

Shed your tears my country, in total sadness go and weep
Of the sorrowful fortune of your sorrowful land
Shed your tears in the moundful the despair you are engulfed
Which for you is suffering, for the foreigner his nourishment
The flag that you symbolize lies conquered by a foreign flag
Even the language you inherited a lowly slave of the other language.

Shed your tears while they proudly celebrate
In the burial of the small, for the big there's merriment
All of your wealth by the handful they are used up
All of your freedom at the same time they are tied.

Shed your tears when in the heart has mellowed the aiming
When in your bosom the volcano has stopped roaring
When no one keeps vigil on the night of the uprising
Go and shed your tears while your freedom lies dead.

The day will come when all your tears will be used up and dry
The day will come when no longer in your eyes the tears will gather
But what will flow will be fire and fire in blood's color
While your blood becomes of steel that is boiling.

You will shout heroically in the flame of a thousand torch
And the chain of your tears you will cut with a bullet.

This poem has been turned into a revolutionary song and still reverberates in the countryside where fighters of the mass movement continue their struggle against new expressions of foreign influence on the political and economic life of the nation. The above translation is for the lyrics of the song that was based on the original poem which consisted of 30 lines.

Read my other article on the Filipino translation of a few poems by an unknown author at: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2010/11/pagsasalin-sa-filipino-ng-ilang-tula-ng.html.