Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | deception is not love (102)

nor the lies, clouds in the sky
the past is never a lie

it’s not a bullet
but the truth is so much more painful that
it could change the world

By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translated by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

deception is not love
nor the lies, clouds in the sky
the past is never a lie

it’s not a bullet
but the truth is so much more painful that
it could change the world

happiness
once more is no lie
since poetry is not a lie
it begins within a breath
of the wind in the face of evil

like when the lady
threw you out like garbage
on her way out
_________

yêu không phải lời nói dối
mây trên trời không phải lời nói dối
quá khứ không phải lời nói dối

không phải viên đạn
nhưng sự thật đau hơn cả viên đạn
nó có thể thay đổi cả thế giới

hạnh phúc
một lần nữa cũng không phải lời nói dối
bài thơ không phải lời nói dối
nó bắt đầu thổi
và gió nhìn chằm chằm vào cái ác

như nàng
ném bạn vào thùng rác
lúc bỏ đi


NB.
Translating equates to reading poetry for me in Vietnamese, it has been approximately five years since the beginning.
But only recently, it dawn on me the importance of conventions when it comes to translating to avoid the risk of sounding like a foreigner in someone else’s country.
“Convention, conventions my dear Watson, it’s elementary!” Something Sherlock would say to Watson.
I’ll leave you with a poem I translated of LVT on September 2019, and the revised translation for you to see obvious gap in the translations.
The 2021 translation no longer sound like “broken English” or Google translate.
Cheers,
T
2019 translation:
lying isn’t love
nor lying ever be as clouds are in the sky
as the past could ever be a lie

not a bullet
but the truth penetrates deep, cuts
it could change a world

a chance of a new happiness
is neither a lie
like poetry is never a lie
it begins with a breath
facing evil like the wind

like when she
threw you out with the garbage
as she left


By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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