My poetry

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Bính
Translator: Nguyễn Bính
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

The afternoon was for drinking and poetry

Midday was for burning piles of dry leaves in the hill

The dry leaves were the property of heaven

The poetry written for her were all mine

The dry leaves yellowed and lined

My boundless poetry green so divine

My poetry have been sent back to the capital

While I’m here alone burning piles of dry leaves.



Thơ tôi

Buổi chiều uống rượu làm thơ

Buổi trưa đi đốt lá khô trên đồi

Lá khô là lá của trời

Thơ tôi là để riêng tôi tặng nàng

Lá khô sòng sọc màu vàng

Thơ tôi bát ngát chỉ toàn màu xanh

Thơ tôi gửi lại kinh thành

Ở đây tôi đốt một mình lá khô.

Nguyễn Bính (1918-1966) the poet born Nguyễn Trọng Bính, in Thien Vinh village, Vu Bang District, Nam Dinh province, Vietnam. He lost his mother at a young age, learned to read and write at home, and started to write poetry from the age of 13, won the Poetry Consolation Prize from Tự lực văn group in 1937 with the collection of poems called My heart and soul. A committed supporter of the August Revolution, he moved to the resistance base in Đồng Tháp Mười leading a literature and art unit. Later he was editor of the semi-independent poetry magazine Trăm Hoa, Hundred Flowers.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the blogger, poet, and translator, was born in 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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