A poem in Vietnamese by Sấu Mã
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

In a class call

Serious or chaotic

He was in

Seconds of awkward silence


He acknowledges

He’s there


A cold pot of tea


The tea leaves moulding


In oblivion in darkness

No one should open the lid


In truth, he didn’t know where he’d been..


August 2020




Trong mọi cuộc điểm danh

Nghiêm trọng hay xô bồ


Mấy giây ắng lặng


Chỉ anh biết

Anh vẫn đó

Mỗi ngày

Như bình trà nguội


Bã trà lên men

Ngân nga

Trong lãng quên trong tối đen

Đừng ai mở nắp


Thực ra anh cũng không biết anh bỏ đi đâu.



Sấu Mã, the poet is a retired professor living in 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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