One day

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Đức Sơn
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

One day when hate is nothing but a fog

Blinding will be the Eastern stars across the night sky 

Father will return with the sea and country in his arms

Feet up, limbs abandoned

The only vow between father and son will be is to play night and day

Chasing the ageless clouds

Autumn bursting, grey hair flying

Pointing out how we had aged

Bowing low to kiss the salt of the earth and sky

Father will be but the misty light of an ageless bloomed moon

May 2022

—–

Mai kia

Mai kia tan biến hận thù

Giữa đêm sao chiếu mịt mù phương đông

Cha về ôm cả biển sông

Duỗi chân duỗi cẳng nằm không một đời

Cho con cha hứa một lời

Đuổi mây thiên cổ rong chơi tối ngày

Thu nào tóc bạc oà bay

Có con chỉ trỏ mới hay cái già

Cúi hôn trời đất đậm đà

Cha tan theo bóng trăng tà vạn niên

Thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn 


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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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