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Pier's Plowman

Bowed by the weight of centuries,

He leans upon his hoe and gazes at the ground;

The emptiness of ages on his face,

And on his back the burdens of the world.

That's how I remember the poem from High School English class. When I was on assignment in the delta area of Vietnam I posed this photograph. Few will tell you that the primary reason for the war in Vietnam was that the North needed the rich rice farmlands of the South delta area. But that's exactly what it was all about. The seperation of Indochina into four countries left the North without its primary source of food.

The farmer in the delta marked the hub of the cause why people were freely giving their lives in Vietnam. On his back were the 'burdens of the world.'