A Spring Day’s Drunken verses

A poem in Vietnamese by Tản Đà
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

A Spring Day’s Drunken Verses

Wine and spirit are born from heaven and earth

What’s the point of living without wine and poetry 

Fame and fortune, they pale in comparison(to)

The pulsating babbling heart of Đà River

The boundless dreamy clouds at the peak of Mount Tản 

If there’s still wine still poetry still there is the endless spring

There is till the endless spring still wine still poetry



Ngày xuân thơ rượu

Trời đất sinh ta rượu với thơ

Không thơ không rượu sống như thừa

Công danh hai chữ mùi men nhạt

Sự nghiệp trăm năm nét mực mờ

Mạch nước sông Đà tim róc rách

Ngàn mây non Tản mắt lơ mơ

Còn thơ còn rượu còn xuân mãi

Còn mãi xuân còn rượu với thơ



  1. Tản Đà vận văn, Hương Sơn xuất bản, Hà Nội, 1941
  2. Tản Đà toàn tập – Tập I, NXB Văn học, 2002

Tản Đà, the poet was born Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu on 19 May 1889 in Ba Vi, died  7 June 1939 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He used both traditional Sino-Vietnamese forms and European influences and was a transitional figure between the turn of the 1890s such as Tú Xương and Nguyễn Khuyến and the “New Poetry” movement of the 1930s.

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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