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POETRY/THƠ

Bùi Kim-Anh | AN AFTERNOON AT THE END OF 2020 (7)

Bùi Kim Anh, the Vietnamese poet born 1948 in Thái Bình, graduated from Hanoi Teacher College, a teacher at a few high school in Hanoi(Cổ Loa, Bạch Mai, Trần Phú). She is a member of the Vietnam Writers Association . Bùi Kim Anh together with her journalist husband Trần Mai Hạnh currently lives on Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Hanoi with their eldest daughter and grandchildren, including Thiện Nhân, from Mount Thành, Quảng Nam, abandoned by his mother and adopted by Trần Mai Anh, the poet’s daughter.

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 Bùi Kim-Anh, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

AN AFTERNOON AT THE END OF 2020

.

now I’m weaker

left is the first enthusiastic verse 

shy of such a challenge in youth

in deliberation alone in the late years

.

literature like a love affair

an attachment that could never be severed

I’m resigned to write for myself

if it sounds great, let’s hope someone picks it up

.

settling on a dream of meditation

stumbling on a rocky path a side trip

gone were the thoughts by the monks in the temple 

a life of servitude pushed aside by carnal love

.

winter days overwhelmed by glaring sunlight

I’m resigned to wait for a change, in the new year a kinder wind

my hair in reflections a fainter hue

known I never have, that hair could ever, know sadness.

.

December 2020

_____

CHIỀU CUỐI NĂM 2020

.

ta giờ sức đã kém hơn

chỉ câu thơ vẫn sớm hôm miệt mài

lúc trẻ chẳng dám đua tài

già rồi ta cứ khoan thai một mình

.

văn chương như một cuộc tình

bỏ không dứt vương rối tinh mảnh đời

ta ngồi viết cho ta thôi

câu nào nghe được xin người nhặt lên

.

díu dan một giấc mộng thiền

dẫm vào sỏi đá ngỡ miền viễn du

tính lên chùa ở với sư

lòng yêu mang nặng kiếp tu chẳng thành

.

ngày đông trời hửng nắng hanh

ta ngồi đợi ngọn gió lành năm sau

soi gương tóc đã ngả màu

trước ta tưởng sợi tóc đâu biết buồn

.
The 1000th translated piece from Vietnamese to English. A fitting end to 2020.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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