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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 17:26 – the seeds we’ve planted are now weed

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 seeds

we’ve planted

are now weed

.

the flowers

no longer bloom

.

mere dirty 

grains of dust

.

we continued to sing

an anthem

steeped in the king Cobras’ poison

.

in the Garden of Eden

embraced each other

inside the gut of a snake

steeped 

in liquor

on a display cabinet 

_____

những hạt giống

chúng ta gieo

đã mọc thành cỏ dại

hoa

không còn nở hoa

chỉ còn những hạt bụi

bẩn thỉu

chúng ta tiếp tục ca

bài ca

nọc độc của những con rắn chúa

ở vườn Địa Đàng

bây giờ chỉ còn quấn vào nhau

trong dạ dày con rắn

ngâm

trong

tủ rượu

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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