Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 15:15 – if you won’t marry 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

if you won’t marry

me then I’ll



the young woman decline

thus sixty

years later



left behind the citizens 

(doubling over) with appendicitis.



nếu em không lấy

anh thì anh

sẽ chết

cô gái cự tuyệt

và sáu

mươi năm sau


trai chết thật

bỏ lại nhân dân

vỡ mật…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

One reply on “Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 15:15 – if you won’t marry me”

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