an ode upholding the right to be an imbecile

A poem in Vietnamese by Đặng Tiến
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

We’re all born with the right to equality

Within the sacrosanct 

Sacred right is the right to be an IMBECILE

A bit dumb is a Minor Imbecile

Very dumb is a Major Imbecile

Dumb for a lifetime

Dumb for twice the lifetime

Dumb for triple the lifetime

Dumb for an endless lifetime

A steadfast and consistent imbecile

An enthusiastic imbecile, a leader 

Trending dumbness stepping from the front door

Down the highway across town returning home soundly dumb

Brainless thoughts

Mindless talks

A fool

The epitome of a fool

A fool jumping up and down all over the front page

In an uproar on the evening news

A fool with a title

A fool with a degree

A fool who dines with the like of royalty and leaders of countries

A fool who can justify black is white

And white is black

What’s wrong is right

And what’s right is wrong

The sustainable ignorance consistent in men and women, young and old

Ignorant from one generation to the next


The right to be an imbecile


Baiting the ants

For the sudden fame

Ignorance beyond ignorance

Indiscriminately ignorant

Overwhelmingly dumb…

July 2022



Tất cả mọi người đều sinh ra có quyền bình đẳng…

Trong những quyền thiêng liêng bất khả xâm phạm

Ấy là quyền được NGU

Ngu ít là Tiểu Ngu

Ngu nhiều là Đại Ngu

Ngu một đời

Ngu hai đời

Ngu ba đời

Ngu ngàn đời

Ngu ổn định và bền vững

Ngu hết phần thiên hạ

Ngu từ trong cửa ngu ra

Ngu từ ngã bảy ngã ba ngu về

Nghĩ ngu

Nói ngu

Làm ngu

Ngu như không thể ngu hơn

Ngu nhảy lên mặt báo

Ngu nhảy lên truyền hình

Ngu có danh xưng

Ngu có bằng sắc

Vua biết mặt và chúa biết tên

Ngu nói xuôi thành ngược

Ngu nói ngược thành xuôi

Ngu nói sai thành đúng

Ngu nói đúng thành sai

Ngu lâu dốt bền nam phụ lão ấu

Ngu chất  chồng ông cha con cháu


Quyền được ngu

Bất khả xâm phạm

Tự bôi mỡ dụ kiến

Và bất ngờ nổi tiếng

Ngu ơi là ngu

Ngu vãi chưởng

Ngu ngất ngưởng…

Đặng Tiến, the poet born in 1961 is a retired lecturer, who currently lives in Thái Nguyên, Vietnam. 

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.


  1. I reserve the right to make an absolute fool of myself in the presence of Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm in hopes that you will get a kick out of it 🤭😂😂

    I agree with the points of the poem. We all deserve to be ourselves and “have our own minds” so to speak, without being harassed or unfairly treated regardless of how we come off, granted there are consequences for actions but if it’s not really causing any harm I think respect goes a long way for a civil standpoint 👍😄💙💙.

    I also like the artwork, it is very unique; I don’t think that I have seen this style before except for on your blog. It really adds a great touch to the poems lol 🤟💯💯

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you so much for passing on my sentiment to the artist. I appreciate that greatly and I adore your compliment 💕💕😄. What you said resonates with me very well and I couldn’t agree more; we can definitely learn alot about life if we fool around enough 🤭😆.

    But you are also right that we can learn the hard way if we end up pushing it too far haha. Sorry for the late response my friend 🥰🥰

    Liked by 2 people

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