By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
What do you do as you wait in the car, in line to test for the Delta strain? You translate poetry of course.
Finding the voice of a new poet is a challenge often exciting when I’m open to it. But, I’m often blindsided by my experience or mere laziness (this happens now and then) find myself oblivious to the errors in my translation. My heart breaks a little, but, the newly discovered knowledge is still a huge high.
I find translating LVT’s poetry on the other hand relaxing, it is probably the closest thing to meditation for me. The words tumbles around in my head, then settles on the screen like a jigsaw puzzle. As I translate his work, I learn how to breath again. We forget to exhale sometimes don’t we?