A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Văn Gia
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm


at the side of the road


its own scent

Faintly there 

and not 

there at all

In the morning breeze 

evening dew

Matters not 

the summer light 

winter rain


against adversity

Not because of this 

nor that

Flower for no reason at all


– just quietly

The poor things in bunches 

Relying on others

Living off other people

Not lucky enough 

to be troubled

Why be burdened 

with a name

A sincere heart 

– the light private scent

A gift for the brilliant blue sky.




Ngơ ngác 

bên vệ đường

Hoa dại 

hương rất riêng


như không 

như có

Trong gió sớm 

chiều sương

Mặc nắng hạ 

mưa đông

Lầm lì 

trong gian khó

Chẳng vì này 

vì nọ

Khơi khơi 

hoa trổ bông

Thầm lặng –

thầm lặng thôi

Thương ơi 

hoa chùm gởi

Thân nương vào kẻ khác

Sống còn 

nhờ dựa hơi

Không mảy may 

ưu phiền

Danh phận 

chi thêm mệt

Tâm thành 

– chút hương riêng

Gởi trời cao 

xanh biếc.


Nguyễn Văn Gia

Nguyễn Văn Gia

Nguyễn Văn Gia, the poet and facebooker is a retired English professor who currently lives in Danang, 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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