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POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | MY HOMELAND A CENTURY AGO – 2/11 – flying, mother had warned us about the traps

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 blogger, 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

flying

mother had warned us about the traps

there may be dangling nets

flying may not mean yearning for a different horizon

horizons often in a sudden

may not mean flying

 

don’t fly too high; mother warned: you’ll lose sight

the fire wolf even after it’s been stuffed could still gobble a dozen more ribs

it won’t make a mistake

the best thing to do is to draw out the tale like the way into the forest

tired them so they’ll leave

overwhelmed them enough so they will fall into the trap 

both hands hold tight onto the bamboo staff, echoed laughter

..

May 2022

.

bay

mẹ cứ nhắc ta canh chừng những cái bẫy

có thể treo, rút dây hay trùm lên bằng lưới

không phải cứ bay là tiếc những chân trời

chân trời cũng nhiều khi đột ngột

không bay

 

nhưng cũng đừng bay cao, mẹ nhắc: vì sẽ không nhìn thấy

những con sói lửa dù đã nhồi bông vẫn ngoặm đủ 12 cặp xương sườn

nó không thể nhầm lẫn

chỉ còn cách kéo dài câu chuyện như con đường vào rừng

làm nó mệt mỏi bỏ đi

sau khi bị tẩu hỏa nhập ma tự mắc vào chiếc bẫy

hai tay cầm ống nứa, cười vang

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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