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ART POETRY/THƠ

Thanh Tâm Tuyền | THE SLEEPING RAIN (28)

Thanh Tâm Tuyền (1936-2006), born Dzư Văn Tâm in the province of Vinh, Vietnam. The legendary Vietnamese-American poet after 1975, did 7 years in re-education camp, before taking his final breath in Minnesota, America.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

By Thanh Tâm Tuyền, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

 

THE SLEEPING RAIN

 

By the river I watched the rain, the rain on half of the river. To fall asleep under the cogon grass roofs, lungs soaked in the fresh scent of the damp soil more than the scent of cigarette smoke.

 

I want to take you back there, your bare feet on the dirt floor. Leaving behind the city the factories the tram the bus the lights at the intersection. I’m brave like that. The path into the village worn by sweaty feet strewn with flowers and feral grass spoke of the coming souls. Em, you can visit the fruit orchards and begin your work. In abandonment the naked breasts in my vision the breaths and the sky and the earthy coloured trees were one.

 

The rain on the other side the other half of the river

He loved her like the steps yearning for its feet

Though for the thousandth time the flowers dies

His heart but one time loved

 

Naturally I became a poet adept in folklore light was my strike of the pickaxe in the field dug up a layer of the delicate blouse at a time.

 

The long trips coming home sleeping with the rain beneath the thatch roofs. The night kind, perhaps from a bar by the side of the river. Friends collecting rain in their cupped hands, the raindrop as beautiful as those eyes asleep, far far away but not at all far. I shall bring you here to sleep by the river, the soul, an undiscovered field. I will also invite him to listen to the rain upon an indifferent forehead, the senses opening up the odd paths down into the soul. We shall sleep in the rain as though in a dream.

 

One day, I will follow him into town to choose the colour of a beastly flower with the breath of liberty.

 

Naturally I became a poet adept in folklore

The rain now and then through the thatch

the rain sleeping with the lonely

the distance is nothing compared to the frightful misunderstandings

don’t be angry with him dearest heavenly rain love him nonetheless.

 

(September 2021)

 

MƯA NGỦ

Tặng Trần Thanh Hiệp

 

Tôi đứng nhìn mưa bên sông, mưa nửa giòng nước. Ôi nếu được ngủ dưới mái tranh, mùi đất bốc mưa mới đầu ấm phổi hơn một hơi thuốc lá.

 

Tôi sẽ đưa em về bên ấy, nền nhà ẩm và em chân đất. Từ bỏ thành phố nhà máy xe điện xe buýt ánh đèn ngã tư. Tôi can đảm như thế. Con đường vào làng men chân đê hoa cỏ hoang dại nói tâm hồn những vật những người sắp gặp. Em đi thăm vườn trái cây và em có thể bắt đầu làm việc. Ngực trần không vướng víu anh thấy anh với hơi thở với bầu trời với cây màu đất là một.

 

Mưa bên kia sông mưa nửa giòng nước

ta thương cô như bước nhớ chân

hoa dù tàn muôn vạn nghìn lần

lòng ta vẫn chỉ một lần thương yêu

 

Hồn nhiên tôi trở thành thi sĩ ca dao nhẹ những nhát cuốc đầu xới lần áo mỏng ruộng đồng.

 

Những chuyến đi xa theo mưa về ngủ mái rạ. Đêm hiền lành, có lẽ từ một cửa bể bến sông quán rượu. Những người bạn hứng mưa vào lòng tay, giọt mưa đẹp như mắt ngủ, rất xa không lìa cách. Tôi sẽ đưa em về ngủ bên sông, tâm hồn là cánh đồng chưa khai phá. Tôi sẽ mời anh về nghe mưa trên vừng trán vô tư, giác quan mở những ngõ lạ xuống linh hồn. Chúng ta ngủ ngoài mưa như mơ ngủ.

 

Một ngày, tôi theo anh ra thành thị để chọn một màu hoa dã thú một hơi thở tự do.

 

Hồn nhiên tôi trở thành thi sĩ ca dao

Hôm hôm qua mưa luồn mái rạ

mưa ngủ cùng những kẻ cô đơn

bao nhiêu xa cách không sợ bằng giận hờn

đừng giận anh em hỡi mưa trời còn thương anh.

 

—–

* nguồn : Thanh Tâm Tuyền . Tôi Không Còn Cô Độc . Người Việt xuất bản , in tại nhà in Hợp Lực , xong ngày 15-10-1956 .

 

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

14 replies on “Thanh Tâm Tuyền | THE SLEEPING RAIN (28)”

Reblogged this on Commentary, Outrages, Prose and Poetry and commented:
This came to me via O at The Edges, Robert Okaji. When he recommends a new writer (new to me at least) I make time to read. He has yet to fail. When I went to The Original I was so pleasantly surprised to see the work and words inVietnames, such a lovely-to-look-upon (one almost can hear the gentle but insistent beat of the spoken words. Aside from America, Viet Nam, where I spent just short of a year as a combat correspondent, USMC, is a wonderful place from razon ridgeline mountains, gentle hills and steamy rain-soaked floodplains with always teeming cities and gentle, sleepy villages and hamlets and always you can find a surprisingly friendly face – even in the midst of a too-long war which stretches way past America’s miniscule involvement: a land and a people yearning for liberty and freedom…and friends.

Liked by 2 people

Gosh, I’m so glad my translation have found you. It always an emotional surprise. Translating the text was the only way for me to understand it better, I wanted to understand my parents and their pain, I wanted them to know I wanted to understand. They suffer still from PTSD, this was one of my ploy to help them talk.. Awe you made me tear up.. I will never be able to full understand their pain. But I van only hope my efforts brings them a moment of lightness. Thank you so much for sharing your story, for being their with my people, though I am no longer recognized as one of them, I love the country that has adopted me, Vietnam is still a part of me. May peace and joy find you sir.

Liked by 1 person

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