on the shimmering pages of enormity

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Man Nhiên
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

I’ve noted the sacred books

on the shimmering pages of enormity

I’ve hunted with arrows of sunlight

in a forest of the rising sun

I’ve blinked upon the twilight afternoon

the darkness sometimes steeped in blood

from my throat a glorious note

the meadows barer than departure

I alone pushed along the rusty bike

the twisting path brown and full of light

(December 2021)


tôi viết cuốn sách thiêng liêng 

vào trang lấp lánh của rộng lớn 

tôi săn bắn bằng mũi tên ánh sáng

trong khu rừng mặt trời mọc

tôi chợp mắt dưới chiều muộn

bóng tối đôi khi nhuộm máu

tôi cất lên nốt nhạc mạnh mẽ 

cánh đồng trống hơn sau sự ra đi 

tôi đẩy xe cút kít một mình

con đường quanh co màu nâu đầy nắng

Nguyễn Man Nhiên 

Nguyễn Man Nhiên, the poet and digital artist currently resides in Saigon, 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 didn’t see a contact page. Are you interested in collaborating on translating some short rhyming poems from Vietnamese into English? Below is one that I translated with the help of a Vietnamese friend. He made the literal translation, and I paraphrased it and made it rhyme. You probably recognize the poem.

    Your father’s work to raise you right,
    In worth, is like a giant mountain.
    Your mother’s love and guiding light
    Have value like a flowing fountain.
    Respect your parents as you should.
    A grateful child’s heart is good.

    Liked by 3 people

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