Oh look, a poem by thanh dang

A poem in Vietnamese by Thanh Dang
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Oh look

A poem by thanh dang

Reads as delightful as flowers

Now now

A poem by thanh dang

There’s a mention of Ông Bình Vôi*

No no

A poem by thanh dang

There were these clouds drifting

Just kidding

A poem by thanh dang

“Em” can’t say…

There “em” was after reading it

Half-way up the hill, crying

The bird was my witness.

June 2022


Ô kìa

Bài thơ của thanh đặng

Đọc như là ngắm hoa

Vừa thôi

Bài thơ của thanh đặng

Có hình ông bình vôi

Không phải

Bài thơ của thanh đặng

Sao có làn mây trôi

Giởn nầy

Bài thơ của thanh đặng

Em không thèm nói đâu…

Chuyện kể rằng sau đó

Em khóc giữa lưng đồi

Có con chim làm chứng.

*Ông Bình Vôi: in folklore, a heartless monk was turned into a ceramic pot with a hole, which contained bitter mineral slaked lime paste, the lime and areca nut are then wrapped into a parcel with a betel leaf to chew as a refreshing condiment. Betel leaves are used as a stimulant, an antiseptic, and a breath freshener, whereas areca nut was considered an aphrodisiac.

Source: https://lichngaytot.com/phong-thuy/nguon-goc-ong-binh-voi-284-209174.html


Thanh Dang, the poet from Vietnam currently resides in Houston, Texas, U. S. A.

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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