The formidable sea

A poem in English by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Translator: Lê Vĩnh Tài
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm 
Published on 
October 2022 Quarterly Edition of Văn Nghệ Biển Khơi 
The lies I've told
These lies I've told so old
Old as the ancient trees
Old as the sea

The words woven in Moonbeam
In burnt Sunlight seems
In the whispering sea breeze
in your ear sighing, me

My laboured hunk of muscle
In tides wistful
Pounds pounding away
Ah the things I can, can't say

To swim
To savouring the saltiness
The formidable sea

Biển mặn ghê gớm

Tôi nói láo miết rồi
đến giờ vẫn nói láo
những lời nói láo già như cổ thụ
xưa như biển

Những lời nói đan thành ánh trăng lừa dối
thành ánh mặt trời
bốc cháy trong gió biển
rì rào bên tai bạn, thở dài

tôi, cơ bắp cuồn cuộn của tôi
trong thủy triều đăm chiêu với những điều
tôi có thể
và không thể nói

Bơi
để thưởng thức vị biển mặn
ghê gớm
_____
SEPTEMBER 2019

Lê Vĩnh Tài, the poet and translator born in 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands and a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

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. It is truly beautifully expressive. You are so welcomed. You are such a talented poet yourself. It is a treat to read your work too. Sending love and hugs back, Joni 🦋❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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