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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | when there wasn’t a voice (50)

he smelt the word taken by mistake
the smell of fish sauce the rain and sun-bleached hair

now for him only smell
because there’s nothing but darkness left in his eyes…

By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translated by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

 

when there wasn’t a voice

the poet stole the word:

– sound

 

and he tasted the saltiness

turns out he stole the wrong word:

– tears

 

he smelt the word taken by mistake

the smell of fish sauce the rain and sun-bleached hair

 

now for him only smell

because there’s nothing but darkness left in his eyes…

_____

 

khi bị mất giọng nói
thi sĩ đánh cắp chữ:
– âm thanh

nhưng chàng nghe vị mặn
hoá ra chàng đã đánh cắp nhầm chữ:
– nước mắt

chàng nghe mùi của chữ đã lấy nhầm
mùi nước mắm mùi mưa mùi tóc nắng

chàng chỉ còn có thể nghe thấy mùi
vì hai mắt chàng chỉ còn bóng tối…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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