the ode

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

the ode

the letters in a row shattered all at once

like ink flowing under the skin

turning into blood


Defenders into Invaders

a chase without the need for a place to hide


ending in victory

you’re always a little salty


ink flowing under the skin

turning into blood


bài thơ

một loạt các chữ cái vỡ ra

như mực khi chảy dưới da

thành máu


Tự vệ thành Đánh Chiếm

cuộc rượt đuổi không cần lấp liếm


kết thúc của chiến thắng

lúc nào bạn cũng mằn mặn


mực chảy dưới da

thành máu…


JUNE 2020

Lê Vĩnh Tài, the poet and translator born in 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands and a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

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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