Wherever papa may be

A poem in Vietnamese by Trần Quốc Toàn
Translation: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Wherever papa may be

you’re right behind me

as I cross our boundless bloodline

son, your footsteps shall be scented with our heritage…

.

Wherever papa may be

you’re right behind me

as I quietly cross the mountains and valleys

son, your footsteps shall venture far and wide.

.

Because I am a mountain

a mountain of wind and mist

and you are the fragrant blooming foliage

March 12, 2022

—–

Ba đi đâu

con theo đó

ba đi vạn viên máu đỏ

con đi thơm bước chân hồng…

.

Ba đi đâu

con theo đó

ba đi im lặng núi đồi

con đi vang rộng trời xa.

.

Bởi ba là núi

núi là gió là sương 

con là hoa lá là hương

Trần Quốc Toàn 


Trần Quốc Toàn, the Vietnamese poet born 1992, at Tuy Phước, Bình Định, Vietnam. Prize: Tiền Vệ 2019 Liberal Literature Award for Kinh Đêm, a book of poetry; Văn Việt 2022 Literature Award for the novel Trong Rừng Cây Du Thủ.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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