Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 11:11 – without the vernacular, we’re all petrified

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 the vernacular

we’re all petrified



the whiteness of the school shirt

you worn

it’s innocence

the shape of a diminished flame


fear taking a step





không còn ngôn ngữ

mọi người điếng lặng


màu trắng của chiếc áo học trò

bạn mặc

sự hồn nhiên

là hình ảnh ngọn lửa đã nguội

sự sợ hãi đã lùi



tình yêu…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s