Lê Vĩnh Tài | “where does poetry come from dad” (113)

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


“Where does poetry come from dad
people have written about everything there’s to write what’s there left for you Dad” (my daughter’s poem)
But the poet kept writing:
the horizon is a mirror
shattered, as she reached out
and held
onto you
you hang
there, on yourself saw the immense scarring of time
“Ba ơi thơ có từ lâu
người ta làm hết còn đâu Ba làm” (thơ của con gái)
Nhưng rồi thi sĩ vẫn làm thơ:
bầu trời như tấm kính
vỡ, khi nàng với tay
ra và nắm
lấy bạn
bạn treo
ở đó, nhìn mình đầy vết sẹo thời gian
November 2021

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

5 replies on “Lê Vĩnh Tài | “where does poetry come from dad” (113)”

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