when you’re a poet, you’re a thief

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photographer: Dr. Lâm Ngọc Hoàng
when you’re a poet
you're thief
and the vernacular isn't what you steal

you steal the hearts
of those who happened to read
you
_____

là nhà thơ
bạn chính là kẻ trộm
nhưng bạn không đánh cắp ngôn ngữ

bạn chỉ đánh cắp trái tim
của những người đã lỡ đọc
bạn…
_____
JANUARY 2021

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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