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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 11:1 – without words, the poem has no desire for sleep

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

without words

the poem has no desire for sleep

will it sacrifice

its melody? its meaning?

.

since in death

sleep is dreamless

no one

dives

headfirst 

into a final deconstruction

.

as the poem

joked about

desire

.

you remembering that

we 

couldn’t possibly

construct anything half-asleep

and with indifferent

.

as though the poem has no

enemy

_____

không còn chữ

bài thơ không mong được ru ngủ

nó sẽ hy sinh

ý nghĩa? gieo vần?

cũng như cái chết sẽ tìm thấy

giấc ngủ không mộng mị

không ai

chui đầu vào

các

giải cấu trúc cuối cùng

trong khi bài thơ

giễu nhại

giấc mơ

và bạn nhớ

chúng ta không thể

cấu trúc

kiểu lơ mơ

hay buồn ngủ

như thể bài thơ

không có kẻ thù

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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