View This Side Now

From Linh Duy Vo, Poet

To Prof. Toby Haynsworth, Ph.D.
History Department
Winthrop University 
Rock Hill, South Carolina 29733

October 5, 2000

Dear Papa-san Dr. Toby Haynsworth,

From Vietnam to Midway to your home America (Winthrop University), you, like other beloved Viet vets, have given much of yourself and your works to people and to their history. I wish to take my hat off to you with my utmost gratitude.

Dacus Library has just sent me a letter, acknowledging receipt of the books "Dear Daddy" and "To America, Love and Gratitude" which I have contributed in honor of you and Dr. Edward Lee.

I too wish to thank you again for your gift copy of "New Horizon; 25 Vietnamese Americans in 25 Years, 1975-2000." I happen to be familiar with some of the featured faces within the book. For example, Andrew Lam. He and I were invited to a poetry reading at Portland State University in 1996. He read short stories and I, poems. Interestingly, there is a sense of pride for some (in the book) whose poems were inserted in a "crammed" (VVA Magazine's bookreview/March 1999) anthology called "From Both Sides Now" which was published by Prof. Phillip Mahony of NYU and Simon & Schuster, 1998. I was twice asked for my permission to have my poem "Autumn Leaves" (in my book of poems "Dear Daddy") included. I politely replied to Mr. Phillip Mahony that "my poem 'Autumn Leaves' belongs to the 58,000-plus souls on The Wall, and I wish not to have it be with the other side."

"From Both Sides Now" turned out as a bad omen as I had intuitively foreseen. It's a shame to see "poet" Ho Chi Minh being put on the pedestal by a NYU English instructor and Simon & Schuster. The anthologist encouraged me to let him include my poem for a "great readership" of Simon & Schuster. I said I have already had 58,000-plus honorable readers on The Wall.

In lieu of my dear poem "Autumn Leaves" which reflects the serenity at the site of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, I offered him my poem "My Name Is Vietnam" which depicts the suffering Vietnamese people under the Communist Viet Cong ; Prof. Phillip Mahony replied, "regretfully unfit."

"From Both Sides Now"-- it turned out that the "readership" is glorifying one-sided Godless Enslavement Communism/VC and "demonizing" the blood of the Liberty of our self-sacrificing, freedom-loving GIs. 

Oh, have you seen any book of poems of Holocaust victims together with Adolf Hitler?

Thank you for being a historian. Thank you for having written and compiled a great book of history "White Christmas in April -- The Collapse of South Vietnam, 1975".

With American patriotism,

Linh Duy Vo
(The Boy in the Poem)


Subj: RE: White Christmas in April
Date: 7/11/00 6:35:58 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From: haynsworth
To: PoetLinhDVo


Dear Linh,

    You are most gracious to offer to donate copies of your beautiful
books to the Winthrop library. They will be a wonderful addition to our
collection.
    Thank you very much for remembering me in such a thoughtful way.

Sincerely, 
Toby


 "Et Tu, Brute?"

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