Other People’s Hell, Other People’s Heaven (Thai)

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Angkarn Kalayanapong (13 February 1926 – 25 August 2012) was a Thai poet and artist. He was named a National Artist of Thailand in 1989, and won the S.E.A. Write Award in 1986.

ngkarn was born in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in Southern Thailand. His father was a sub-district headman (kamnan). As a high school student, he started writing poems. He was admitted to study painting at the art-specialized Silpakorn University where he was taught, amongst others. In the 1950s, he became a professional writer. He deviated from the traditional schemes and rules of Thai poetry, which initially drew him in criticism. Angkarn won the S.E.A. Write Award in 1986 and was named National Artist of Thailand in the field of literature in 1989. Next to his poetic works, Angkarn was noted for his drawings and paintings.

Angkarn was married and had one son and two daughters. In 2006, he supported the People’s Alliance for Democracy («Yellow Shirts») in their protests against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. After suffering from a long-term heart disease and diabetes, Angkarn died at the age of 86 in Samitivej Hospital, Bangkok.

Poem (Other People’s Hell, Other People’s Heaven)

Other people’s hell, other people’s heaven
we pick up, like a spark
that fuses a deeply-held bond
all actions move each other

Perhaps everything we can see
looks like lives held back
only disconnected worlds are blocked
as though they lack
strengthening bonds

Think   act   go on without feeling
cast an anchor deep in the flow
blood and flesh   the rhythm of the heart
whichever heart – one rhythm

One rhythm – taking many forms
creates the whole from each chamber
change  the crossroad offers a choice of journeys
reap a thousand heights or sink

Other people’s hell or other
people’s heaven
we can’t help but take in
whether they are repulsive
or glorious – truth

Today the world usually takes sides
seeks only the present
ignoring the future
continues to love or to hate

It is the hell or heaven of other people
we pick up that can be a spark
whether they are beautiful
flowers, flowers in bloom
never choose the flames of war.

Vocabulary:

  • Deviated: depart from usual or accepted standards.
  • Against: in opposition to.
  • Taught: past and past participle of teach.
  • Headman: the chief or leader of a community or tribe.

Recommendations:

Reading will give you more ways to express what you think and what you feel, in that way, you may have a better communication when you travel to other countries.

Questionnaire:

  • What was noted from Angkarn Kalayanapong next to his poems?

Session 3

Welcome to this activity created by Learning Advisor Mr. Joel A. Franco Zamudio from Polanco Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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