the tumulus of April

A poem in Vietnamese by Dư Đằng Duy
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Dư Đằng Duy by Nguyễn Nam
T H E   T U M U L U S   O F   A P R I L

Across the sky came the chill of April 
A mournful wave of icy wind
A mad horse had trampled across
What was left of this diminished horizon
The mask of a nation in exile
Stupefied by an ex-lover’s cold shoulder
A flag covered in the shades of remains
Saigon in the history books washed away by the blood of its people
As we meandered its streets mid-spring 
Each and every aching step hid the tumulus of April
April 2022

M Ộ  P H Ầ N  T H Á N G  T Ư

Tháng tư về úa lạnh trời
Đầy tay gió buốt dạt khơi sóng hờn
Cạn trời cuối đất tang thương
Ngựa cuồng vó vấp cuộc tàn núi sông
Cố hương đắp mặt lưu vong
Ngẩn ngơ đất cũ lạnh lùng tình xưa
Cốt xương lấp kín màu cờ
Sàigòn đâu nữa máu mờ sử xanh
Ta đi giữa phố mùa xuân
Bước đau dấu cỏ mộ phần tháng tư.

Dư Đằng Duy, the poet from Vietnam currently lives in Sydney, Australia.

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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