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ART POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 4: prologue – the poem spinning around the poet’s head like Buddha’s halo

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

the poem spinning around the poet’s head

like Buddha’s halo

.

each time he reaches behind his neck

to touch it

the poem disappears

.

as though we’ll never be able to

grab a hold of our fate…

_____

bài thơ xoay quanh đầu của nhà thơ

như vầng hào quang của Đức Phật

.

mỗi lần nhà thơ đưa tay lên ót

để chạm vào

bài thơ biến mất

.

như chúng ta không bao giờ nắm bắt

được số phận của chính chúng ta…

 

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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