I’m reborn at dawn in your life

A poem in Vietnamese by Huy Cận
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

At each dawn, I’m again born in my life

A brave new world through your eyes

Me stepping across your seashore sound

I’m returned to the soundness of my soul,

Followed your waves; our destiny

A pair of waves in harmony

Out there in the big (deep dark blue) sea.

What if on our landing we crash?

As the afternoon takes a dive I’m by your side

Considered me as a brilliant reflection in your mirror

So I may love you to the very core of your being

My mind shall be full of you: thorns and roses.

At each dawn, I’m again born in your life

You are the sunrise, you are the Eastern light

The endless retreating foot of the horizon

The wristwatch, a fixture of my life

Counting each fateful hour.

You are the scent of the day, the scent of the night

The pungent scent of tree sap, the sweetness of fruit

My lungs are full of you, the simmering of you

The unquenchable thirst of my soul.

_____

JANUARY 2022

Anh đầu thai vào đời em mỗi sáng

Anh đầu thai vào đời anh mỗi sáng

Đời tinh khôi theo hướng mắt em nhìn

Anh đi trên bờ của biển em sâu thẳm

Và anh trở về sâu thẳm của hồn anh,

Theo làn sóng em; vận mệnh đôi ta

Là hai đợt sóng giao hoà

Trên biển lớn.

Liệu hai ta có đổ xuống lúc cập bờ?

Anh dựa vào bờ em chiều lặn

Anh tự nhận mình trong gương em xán lạn

Để yêu em tận cội, tận nguồn

Để óc toàn em: hoa hồng và gai nhọn.

Anh đầu thai vào đời em mỗi sáng

Em là bình minh, em là rạng đông

Là chân trời lùi xa mãi mãi

Và chiếc đồng hồ cố định đời anh

Đánh những giờ số mệnh.

Em là hương vị của ngày, hương vị của đêm

Hương vị nhựa nồng và trái ngọt

Mà anh hít thở để làm êm đói khát

Của hồn anh nung chảy khát thèm.

Nguồn: Tạp chí Kiến thức ngày nay, số xuân Đinh Sửu 1997


Huy Cận (31/5/1919 – 19/2/2005) born Cù Huy Cận, born in Ân Phú commune, Dương Sơn District, Hà Tĩnh, passed away in Hanoi, a poet, a political activist, a member of Vietnam Writers Association since 1957.

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.

5 comments

  1. Dear Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm,

    What a wonderful English translation you have done for this poem entitled “Anh đầu thai vào đời em mỗi sáng” (“I’m reborn at dawn in your life”) by Vietnamese poet and activist, the late Huy Cận, to whom this is a lovely tribute!

    I would like to inform you that there are other creative ways for two poets to interact. You might be very interested to know that I have also been involved in collaborative poetry, insofar as one of my best English poems, which has a tetrapartite structure and is fully illustrated and also dynamically animated, has been translated into Chinese by a very talented bilingual poet, who has taken on the challenge in stages. In general, when someone has mastered Chinese to a very high level, they will even be able to translate a rhyming English poem into a Chinese poem that also rhymes! This is very difficult to achieve, as most translators dealing with any language(s) do not have the ability to ensure that the poem also rhymes perfectly in another language when translated.

    You can see this highly successful example of translating poem at one of my posts, which is entitled “If My Name Were Moon Tonight… (假如今夜我的名字叫月亮…)“, and is available at

    https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2022/06/16/%e5%81%87%e5%a6%82%e4%bb%8a%e5%a4%9c%e6%88%91%e7%9a%84%e5%90%8d%e5%ad%97%e5%8f%ab%e6%9c%88%e4%ba%ae-if-my-name-were-moon-tonight/

    If you are interested in translating this poem of mine into Vietnamese, I shall be delighted and honoured.

    Happy mid-August to you and your family!

    Yours sincerely,
    SoundEagle

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm,

        I shall wait for you with patience. You are welcome to use my said poem as a target for practicing translation.

        You will be pleased to know that in my said post, there is the great fun of watching my dynamic animation produced in high resolution (1920 x 1280) synchronized perfectly to Debussy’s Clair de Lune. The effects are going to be great on the large screen of your desktop or laptop. Moreover, you should be able to see that the entire post from top to bottom is full of eye-catching animations. However, if you view the post inside the WordPress Reader and not directly from my blog, you will see none of the animations and bespoke stylings, and there will be a great deal of missing contents. The difference is literally one between day and night.

        This animation-intensive post is the result of my dramatic attempt to bring the Full Moon alive, so to speak, in the form of Music Animation with Dynamic Visualization presented in high definition and imbued with a scintillating full moon surrounded by eye-catching astronomical phenomena and stellar activities!

        As mentioned, the post contains a tetrapartite poem with twelve rhyming stanzas constituting my rhyming poem entitled “If My Name Were Moon Tonight…“. There is also the opportunity to savour my own rendition of “Clair de Lune” recorded on the organ. I look forward to interacting with you and reading your feedback at my said post.

        I welcome your input and am curious to know what you make of my said post. Please enjoy!

        Thank you once again for resonating with me through your poetry and translation. It is a precious gift that you possess with charm, and that will improve even more in the future.

        Yours sincerely,
        SoundEagle

        Liked by 1 person

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