Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 18:19 – please, spare me

Lê Vĩnh Tài, the Vietnamese poet and translator born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, a businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

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 Lê Vĩnh Tài, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

please, spare me


for accidently 

biting you


please spare me


please spare me

so I may let  

people know

you bit me


gosh sorry

Why the apologies?

please, spare me

for my own good

when we have to apologise

when we must speak: please

please, spare me from 

your email

dear lord, spare me.



ôi, xin tha cho tôi


vì tôi đã lỡ

cắn bạn


xin tha cho tôi

tại sao?

xin tha cho tôi

để tôi còn có thể nói

cho mọi người biết

khi bạn cắn tôi

ôi xin lỗi

tại sao phải xin lỗi?

ôi, xin tha cho tôi

cho bản thân tôi

khi mình phải xin lỗi

khi mình phải nói: ôi

ôi, xin tha cho tôi

cái email

trời ơi…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

3 replies on “Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 18:19 – please, spare me”

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