Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Đinh Trường Chinh | Noon Came Rain (4)

noon drapes a soul err
a poem so unknown
a heart ripen just
for the words to fly free

By Đinh Trường Chinh , translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

 

Noon Came Rain***

 

The rain came by the moor

the words blue mid-noon

from the wind an eave

lost midst a noiseless day

 

noon drapes a soul err

a poem so unknown

a heart ripen just

for the words to fly free

 

rain noon on the alps*(xóm ngái)

the earth’s fragrance damp

words lay scattered wild

sided in cracks of noon.**

~~~~~

Mưa Về Trưa

 

mưa về ngang bến sông

bài thơ buồn giữa ngọ

ta tìm nơi trú gió

lạc giữa ngày khan âm

 

trưa vắt ngang hồn sai

một bài thơ rất lạ

tâm nào vừa rụng trái

cho chữ nghĩa la đà

 

mưa về trưa xóm ngái 

hương đất nồng phiêu diêu

bài thơ nằm vụng dại

thất giạt giữa khe chiều.

 

Translated October 2018

*xóm ngái: indigenous mountainous villages in Vietnam; though the word “ngái” part of the phrase “ngái ngủ” descriptive of drowsiness. The poem hints of an afternoon nap.

** tried as I may, I couldn’t stick to 5 syllables.

***noon: a metaphor for midlife? 🙂

NB. There’s a lot of wordplays, impossible to transform. Eg.  “Tâm nào vừa rụng trái”: tâm-heart, rụng trái- ripe fruit; a heart ripen fell, “ripen” is more accurate than “fallen” in my initial translation. “Cho chữ nghĩa là đà”: the meaning of the word; a life more meaningful will flow free like canopies swaying in the wind.

 

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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