I have thrown out all the words in my grasp

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Published on Ned Hamson’s Second Line View of the News

in throwing out the vernacular
I have thrown out all the words in my grasp
like peace and justice
where
the sun only knows how to spin and dance
shouting noisily like a fire crackling
until the day it will be fair for all
night shall fall beneath the canopy
as thin and gentle
as soft and unyielding
as she did ever fall…


để quăng ra ngôn ngữ
ta đã ném hết những chữ trong tầm tay của mình
ví như hoà bình và công lý
ở nơi
mặt trời chỉ biết quay cuồng và nhảy
hô to như lửa cháy
cho đến ngày
mọi thứ công bằng được thực hiện
đêm rơi xuống dưới một tàn cây
mỏng, dịu dàng
mềm và đay nghiến
như em…


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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