A poem in Vietnamese by Vũ Ngọc Giao
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
the old pavement steeped in moonlight ,
the old garden empty and silent ,
giving into the scent of ylang ylang .
the distracted notes strummed on the old guitar ,
a halfhearted serenade of endless love .
the old pavement had found a place to settle down ,
an old bird with broken wings ,
and sound sad eyes .
the old moon like a crazy ripe fruit ,
blue bruised and yellow, discarded, dangling in the middle of the sky .
the old pavement chilled by an abandoned seat ,
the weepy regret of an old lover ,
Game over .
soon, I will leave the old pavement for forever land ,
light our names, in the remembrance of an old moon .
PHỐ & TRĂNG
phố xưa chìm ngợp màu trăng ,
vườn xưa im vắng ,
hương hoàng lan đưa .
đàn xưa ai dạo thẫn thờ ,
ta ngồi hát khúc hững hờ trăm năm .
phố xưa tìm một chỗ nằm ,
chim xưa gãy cánh ,
mắt đăm muộn phiền .
trăng xưa như trái tình điên ,
vàng xanh hiu hắt , treo nghiêng giữa trời .
phố xưa lạnh một chỗ ngồi ,
tình xưa khóc nuối ,
cuộc chơi đã tàn .
mai , ta bỏ phố lên ngàn ,
thắp tên nhau , nhớ mùa trăng thuở nào .
Vũ Ngọc Giao, the Vietnamese musician, and poet born in 1951, My Tho. A former student Petrus Ký Sài Gòn (1961 – 1968), an alumnus of the Faculty of Philosophy, the University of Literature Saigon (1968 – 1970), he is the founder of Phu Nhuan Guitar Club, Saigon. His poetry is published on many literary websites. A few familiar songs: Looking back at my life, The man with sad eyes (a poem by Đỗ Trung Quân), His return on a rainy night, The July rain…
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.