The poor things

A poem in Vietnamese by Tô Thùy Yên
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

The two of them dragged each other into a dream

Now both have taken their last breath on the beach of nothingness

The horses witnessed the row of mountain-ash rearing in the storm

As the sea sent the moon rolling against the rocks in a lullaby

(December 2021)


Tội nghiệp

Hai đứa kéo nhau chạy vào mộng mị

Giờ tắt thở nằm trên bãi hư vô

Bầy ngựa chứng hàng thùy dương vó bão

Biển đưa trăng lăn vào đá tiếng ru


Nguồn: Tô Thùy Yên, Thơ tuyển, Minnesota, 1995

Tô Thuỳ Yên (1938-2019) real name was Đinh Thành Tiên, born in Go Vap, Gia Dinh, Vietnam, an alumnus at Petrus Ký and Đại học Văn khoa Sài Gòn. He was a teacher and journalist in Saigon, a Major in the Vietnam Army prior to 1975. After 1975 served 13 years in re-education camps, in 1993, he moved with his family to the United States as a former political prisoner.

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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