you made the mistake of turning darkness into light

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
you made the mistake 
of turning darkness
into light

you taught me
the meaning of life
you accepted me
when I could not
you listened
when I failed to remember

you reminded those and their delusions of having been
to the moon and back
been at the deep 
darkness of the sea

none amongst us
can change
the world, when
to the very end
it denies you
---
March 2021
-

bạn có lỗi 
đã biến đổi bóng tối 
thành ánh sáng

bạn đã dạy tôi
ý nghĩa của cuộc sống
bạn chấp nhận tôi
khi tôi không thể
bạn lắng nghe
khi tôi quên

bạn nhắc những người hoang tưởng
từng lên mặt trăng
từng lặn
xuống biển

không có ai trong chúng ta 
sẽ thay đổi được
thế giới, khi nó không chịu tới
cùng với 
bạn..

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.

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