Poems and Translations

Men on the Moon *

Space Race between USA and USSR

  • During our younger days, there was a Race to Space between the Soviet Union and the United States.
  • The Soviet Union was ahead of the United States of America in the space race.
  • The Soviet Union was the first to send both the male and female cosmonauts into Orbital Flight.
    Yuri Gagarin was the first cosmonaut to orbit the earth.
    Gagarin was followed by Gherman Titov and a female cosmonaut.
  • The United States desired to leap frog by dominating the Race to the Moon.
  • NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) would tdesign and implement space ships :
    Mercury project (for an astronaut)
    Gemini project (for two astronauts)
    Apollo project (for three astronauts)
  • In November, 1963 John F. Kennedy (President of the United States of America) announced : “Before the decade is out, we will send Men on the Moon and bring them back safely to Earth”.
  • The United States did not have the technology at that time to send Men on the Moon, but with the Presidential Dream and funding, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was able to implement the difficult feat.
  • In December 1968, the Apollo 8 crew with Frank Borman, James Lovell and Bill Anders orbited the Moon and returned safely to the earth.
  • The Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 crews tested the Lunar Module and the crucial parts needed for a successful Moon Landing.
  • In July 1969, we did not have TV in Burma. We listened to the radio. We heard “The Eagle (code for the Lunar Module) had landed (in Tranquility Bay on the Moon).”
    Neil Armstrong (Mission Commander of Apollo 11) stepped out of the Lunar Module onto the Moon and proclaimed, “A small step for men. A giant leap for mankind.”
    He was followed by Buzz Aldrin (Lunar Module Pilot).
    The two set up the US flag and collected rock samples.
    Michael Collins (Command Module Pilot) circled the Moon and waited for the return of the Lunar Module.
    They made a safe trip home.
  • There are books (“We Seven”, “The Right Stuff”, “All we did was send men to the moon and back”) and movies (e.g. Apollo 13) about the space missions.

Men on the Moon (Poem by Hla Min)

Poem : Men On The Moon
  • Wrote a poem honoring the landing of men on the moon.
  • Showed it to Ashin Ananda (Reverend F Lutvig, Buddhist Archbishop of Latvia), who regularly came to our parent’s house for alms round.
  • Ashin Ananda gave my poem to Mr. Hall, Information Officer of USIS to forward it to NASA and the Astronauts.
    Mr. Hall put my name on the USIS mailing list. I received “Lin Yaung Chi” and several translations.
  • Ashin Ananda gave a copy to the Guardian Daily Newspaper.
    It was published on July 25, 1969.

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