Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm | À là ma – just ghosts (247)

I was born 1971, Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. My family and I were a part of the first exodus of boat people after the Vietnam war. In March 1981, we settled in Sydney, Australia. I graduated with a bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney. I have been translating Vietnamese literature for the past five years in my search to better understand my mother’s language and culture. My translations have been shared through blogging over the past year. I am still a registered pharmacist practicing in Western Sydney. I hope to continue translating, and continue to share Vietnamese art and literature, beyond borders on SONGNGUTAITRAM.
(July 2021)

A poem by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

Giữa cánh đồng mây anh à, hay là biển?


Những ngọn sóng xám mờ mờ, ta kìa hay bóng ma?


Ngủ đi ngủ đi nỗi tàn phai ồ của sương mù?


Là biển ma sao anh?


À là ma…

Amidst the field of clouds, or the sea dear?


The fading waves of grey, it’s us right or are they ghosts?


Sleep, oh sleep thee, the death of the fog?


Oh it’s a sea of ghosts dear?


Yes, just ghost…

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

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

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