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.
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.