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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | no. 11:19 – void of the vernacular, the poem is also void of clothes

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

void of the vernacular

the poem is also void of clothes

it’s naked under the Sun

.

you will see the truth

it’s not a poet

it’s an imposter

their national pride

an act via the blood of others

.

they’re romantic to the point of evil

that not just she or you

but the rivers also ran red with blood

_____

khi không còn ngôn ngữ

bài thơ cũng không có áo quần

nó trần truồng trong nắng

lúc đó bạn mới biết sự thật

nó không phải là nhà thơ

nó chỉ giả vờ

như bây giờ họ đang yêu nước

bằng máu người khác

họ lãng mạn đến khốn nạn

ngay cả khi không chỉ nàng hay bạn

mà non sông đang chảy máu

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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