There, I saw the forest clouds

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

One day of suffering ripened within me

So I went to the tree and sat down quietly

The durian tree dropped its fruit on the resting water

The surface of the lake shattered in drifting stars

Come on darling, in the thousand years that had passed by

In the moon’s shadow always is my soul

The sky was born that very afternoon so I may

See the forest clouds flying far far away

July 2022


Tôi thấy mây rừng

Một ngày đau khổ chín trong tôi

Tôi đến bên cây lẳng lặng ngồi

Cây thả trái sầu trên nước lắng

Mặt hồ tan vỡ ánh sao trôi

Thôi nhé ngàn năm em đi qua

Hồn tôi cô tịch bóng trăng tà

Trời sinh ra để chiều hôm đó

Tôi thấy mây rừng bay rất xa

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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