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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 17:prologue – that’s where the mountain viewed the sea

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

that’s where

the mountain viewed the sea

where

a boy

came

lie and listened to

the summer

count the number of death

in the millions

under his breath 

amused himself

alone.

_____

đó là nơi

núi nhìn ra biển

nơi

một cậu bé

đến

nằm nghe

mùa hè

đếm

triệu triệu người đã chết

thì thầm

làm trò chơi

của riêng mình.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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