North-west inebriation

A poem in Vietnamese by Vàng A Giang
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

I was inebriated on a North West afternoon

Inebriated with heaven and earth, in love

Inebriated by the taste of your ripe lips

Inebriated by your shy hands

The North West afternoon in yearning

Climbing Lù Cở you brought along your love

My heart skipping beats following you

Not missing a beat you chopped the wood

Chipped away my self-consciousness

It got dark, I tried to excuse myself

You held onto me, why leave in a falling mist?

My father might find us, stay

You rushed over to lock the door

The moon was so bright that night

What if you were the night’s moon

I couldn’t work out what you were trying to say

I was awake the entire night.

June 2022



Một chiều Tây Bắc ta say

Say đất trời, ân tình

Say em vị môi chín

Say em bàn tay ngoan

Tây Bắc chiều thương nhớ

Đeo Lù Cở em mang cả ân tình

Anh theo em sau tim rậm rịt trễ nhịp

Em thoăn thoắt chặt từng khúc củi

Như chặt đi nỗi thẹn thùng trong anh

Tối anh ngại, xin phép mai lại đến

Em kéo vội, về làm gì khi sương rơi?

Bố thấy vậy, kéo tay vào ở lại

Em theo sau vội vàng cài then

Đêm nay trăng sáng quá

Ngỡ em là trăng đêm

Em thủ thỉ điều gì

Cả đêm anh thao thức.

Thơ Vàng A Giang


Vàng A Giang, the poet born in 1993, in Lào Cai, Northern Highlands, 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.

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