How O thou art or any being love 

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

How O thou art or any being love
tis the essence within thy heart
from which I have learned to love
tis from within thy text in volumes
spills the secret of thy loving

upon thou art desire I am humbled
speak not the truth in which evil ears
may or may heed naught
there indeed lies my yearning
tis out of reach as star be across the sky
in Auden’s words thou art more brilliant than any star

oh soft genteel mind
always kind
thy intentions bestowed thus
though within kindness be
thou art shatter us not once or twice
but in innumerable shards
shimmering teardrops across the sky
Us be in adoration
thy minion in this life and the next

I am methinks a speck of dust
in thy eye

March 2023
bạn là cô gái
kể một câu chuyện
với hàng ngàn lời nói dối

bạn là cô gái, một thiên thần
từ thiên đường xuống trái đất
chưa bao giờ tôi học được bài học chuyển ngữ của mình

giá như khi đó anh biết
em là một bài học về tình yêu
thì, anh đã học chăm chỉ hơn

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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