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PHOTOGRAPHY POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 7:20 – Veer right up here, veer left down there.

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

Veer right up here; veer left down there.

you’re on the pavement

can’t feel a thing

.

you must know

the poem does not care about traffic rules

usually on paper

poetry,

it’s carved in stone

all around us

.

the first time poetry remember

driving drunk

a vehicle of poetry

.

it was clear poetry saw clearly

but after

end up lost in a street

veering out from the tree branches.

_____

Rẽ phải lên đó, rẽ trái xuống kia.

bạn leo lên những vỉa hè

không còn cảm giác

bạn phải biết

bài thơ không tôn trọng luật giao thông

thường chỉ in trên giấy

thơ,

nó là nét khắc vào núi đá

vẫn vây quanh chúng ta

thơ nhớ lần đầu tiên

khi mình say rượu

lái chuyến xe thơ

rõ ràng thơ nhìn rất rõ

sau đó

lạc vào một con đường

rẽ ra từ một cành cây.

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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