Hứa Hiếu | 542 (14)

Hứa Hiếu is an American-Vietnamese poet who currently lives in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

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 Hứa Hiếu, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm



I’ve never applied for residency

here, the native has never counted upon, nor acknowledged my existence

perhaps, here and there in the shadows

lost in the dark(of night)

to them I’m not much of a surprise

not unlike thirsty desiccated trees

lucky, here, no one needs the firewood

nor do I desire my homeland

or the blocks of firewood

to heat up NYE.

all I need is a few shots of soothing wine

to sleep

to forget where I’m sleeping.


January 2021


tôi không xin ở lại

dân bản địa cũng chẳng đếm xỉa gì sự hiện hữu của tôi, nơi đây

có lẽ, cũng quẩn quanh khá nhiều bóng

đêm lưu lạc

họ không ngạc nhiên lắm

như lũ cây khô thiếu nước

cũng may, nơi đây, chẳng ai cần củi

quê hương tôi cũng chẳng cần

kể cả khúc củi

sưởi ấm đêm giao thừa.

tôi cũng cần dăm chung rượu ấm

để ngủ

để không cần biết mình sẽ ngủ ở đâu.


Hứa Hiếu

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

3 replies on “Hứa Hiếu | 542 (14)”

It is really great and honourable of you to share these translated poetry and words of heavy hearts and lives. And in this one, even being not seen by the “own” people, those who should be there for each other, a real and painful experience. I think the “lost in the dark(of night)” says it all, this extra mentioning, which kind of darkness is meant.

In case I already asked, sorry, but what does your name mean? Or do you know?
My actual name means “God is merciful & strong like a rock”, at least this is what some data says and someone also told me. But it is just “John & Peter”.

And although I wasn’t really able to make this much than a meaning of a name, it really meant something to me, before I denied myself and got pushed towards things I never really wanted.

For me it was wonderful how some indgeous people at some point gave their children names with meaning which then actually meant something, unlike names in society usually are seen.
Especially that there has to be a certain way in which they have to be.
And sure names aren’t everything and people can also give themselves all kinds of names when with friends for example. I hated my name and everything about it, but not the name, just the feeling I usually had when it was spoken – fear, pain, questions, pressure, confusion, bullying, jokes, …

Liked by 1 person

more than 5 years I started translating Vietnamese literature for myself, to learn the language. One my favourite encouraged me to share them.

As for my name Nguyen is a family name traced back to the Nguyen Dynasty, Thi – of female gender, Phuong – a direction of sort, a very common middle name like Thi for girls, Tram is a forest tree in SE Asia.

Sadly bullying is prevalent everywhere, only due to ignorance. Reading was one way I had escape such trauma of my childhood. As for now, I call them out. Time is wisdom one should hope.

Take care yeah.

Liked by 1 person

So you are a tree! 😊
And thank you!
Well, my family name just means cook in german, nothing special behind it, pretty boring. In general, average german names and families are very boring…
You take care as well. 💜 ❤

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s