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ART POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 9:4 – Duty

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

Duty

and what is the judge doing at the moment?

– trying to finalise the sentence

.

So what is the point of an accusation?

– stupidity, stubbornness 

.

What about the wind?

– it keeps opening and shutting the door not letting anyone out

.

What about us?

– we’re like birds singing till our throats are ripped out

.

What can anyone do?

– nothing but cry

_____

Trách nhiệm

và bây giờ thẩm phán đang làm gì?

– tìm cách kết tội

thế bị can làm gì?

– cứng đầu, ngu ngốc

và gió làm gì?

– nó cứ mở rồi đóng những cánh cửa không cho ai thoát ra cả

thế chúng ta?

– chúng ta như những con chim hót rách cổ họng

thế mọi người?

– chỉ biết rơi nước mắt

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. 9:4 – Duty”

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