A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Tuân
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


Here already is Hạnh Hoa village

Play hard, play smart when it comes to life.

More times in debt to the drink than love,

There couldn’t be that many Liu Ling in this world?

Singing dialogue:

The loyalist Li Bai,

Drank and couldn’t care less whether the world would laugh at him or not.

Using the drunken blush as a ruse to act up in public,

The world swaying off kilter seems so small.

Whoever wants to bury the age-old sorrow,

Join me for a drink, and empty the full lake.

Wring the water from the clouds, one for you one for me,

At the edge of a dust storm, who’s awake? Who’s drunk? Who’s swooning?

The feminine softness upon the destruction of sad isolation



Hạnh Hoa thôn đã đây rồi,

Chơi đi cho thỏa một đời thông minh.

Nợ men gấp mấy nợ tình,

Cõi trần ướm hỏi Lưu Linh mấy chàng?

Hát nói:

Hung trung hữu Lý Bạch,

Đã say sưa mặc quách thế nhân cười.

Mượn màu men giả dạng làng chơi,

Cơn chuếnh choáng coi ra trời đất nhỏ.

Ai muốn lấp sầu thiên vạn cổ,

Cùng ta hãy cạn một hồ đầy.

Doành nước mây, một tớ một thầy,

Vành gió bụi, ai tỉnh? Ai say? Ai ngất ngưởng?

Đảo phá sầu thành thi thị tướng,

Trường truy cùng tặc tửu vi binh.

Rượu ngà say quên lẫn cả mình,

Khi tuý luý thoát hình hài cõi tục.

Mặc ai đàm tiếu ai trong đục,

Tỉnh mà chi cho nhọc chẳng khề khà.

Nợ nần gỡ mãi không ra.


Nguồn: Cùng một lứa bên trời lận đận (tuyển tập 108 bài thơ rượu giang hồ khí cốt), nhiều tác giả, NXB Thanh Niên, 2009


Nguyễn Tuân (10/7/1910 – 28/7/1987) was a poet born in Hàng Bạc, in the old quarter of Hanoi, his family is from Thuong Dinh hamlet, Nhan Muc commune (Normally known as Moc village), now in Nhan Chinh ward, Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi. He grew up in a Confucian family when Kanji studies ended. He completed the common rank at Nam Dinh citadel before he was expelled for participating in a class strike against French teachers who spoke ill of Vietnamese people (1929). Shortly after that, he was imprisoned again for crossing the border to Thailand without a permit. When he got out of prison, he started writing for the local newspapers.

source: thivien.net

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.


      1. hahaa very much so, I agree 💯😂.

        I completely respect and admire your nobility in being somewhat of a poetical robin-hood bringing to us what we poor souls would have otherwise been missing if not for your thoughtful efforts, which deserves a lovely poem in of itself 🤟🤣😁

        Liked by 1 person

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