A poem in Vietnamese by Vũ Trọng Quang
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Behold by chance the hand held

the regret of letting go

the goodbyes in the middle of the road

the joy and sorrow to follow


Behold by chance the first kiss

the regret of soft red lips 

the firm embrace, inevitable separation

kisses in blooms of sadness


Behold by chance the nights together

sound regrets buried in the night

the wave begged for a smile as keepsake

the half and half draft copy of the other



Nếu tay không lỡ cầm tay

tay trong tay nắm tiếc ngày tay buông

tiễn đưa chừng giữa đoạn đường

mỗi nhau gieo mở vui buồn về sau


Nếu môi không ghé hôn đầu

môi trong môi đỏ tiếc màu môi xa

chặt ôm là chỗ rời ra

giữa nụ hôn mọc nụ hoa rầu rầu


Nếu đêm không đến tìm nhau

đêm trong đêm chạm tiếc sâu đêm vùi

vẫy tay xin giữ nụ cười

nửa này bản thảo của người nửa kia.



Vũ Trọng Quang, the poet currently lives 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. It took me a long time trying to understand his poetry, I’m not sure what it is, but he is one of those kind people who like to push you into getting a better version of yourself. I guess sometimes, I just don’t want to, but after re-editing his poetry, I’m getting a better understanding and I’m more open to improvement LOL..

      Liked by 1 person

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