THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2
††††† †††††††††††THANH TON
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††Translated by N. Saomai
The day you left I was really little,
knew nothing, just smiling the goodbyes
But still I remembered when the boat turned
the waves, in that blue
river, rose to see you off.
You dreamt of new horizons, I the studies
But a faded friendship there would never be.
Your poem as a lament for our times
recalled the long past to my mind.
A nostalgic walk I took down memory lane
Oh yes, the blue river, bright moon, and
the bamboo hedges that stood round our village,
the shore where boats lay,
the mountain for covering clouds awaited
and red fireworks, pink wine,
holidays and Tet.
All those old days were now memory
Trau Dam bank, Ba Doi bridge mournfully
remained. As time insisted to take
away with it
the existence of us all. And
butterflies and birds.
And Bich, and Ngan, and Ha, and To
were all gone, leaving no
vestige of youth.
They became a strange Thu Ha, a funny Ngoc Bich
wandering through those city
And young frail Dao, toothless Hai,
all were en-route to defense
As you knew already
When you old bamboos died,
they were the shoots to rise:
Forever mingling with the mist the lullaby.
The wine I took not, but drunk already
as far-distant old days came
alive in me.
The song that lulled my childhood also
lulled the first love Iíve known: The love
for our country, the voice of
I admired you for forgetting not the days
of old. Your love was
to our homeland, that you put it away
something you wanted to say.
Sad you might feel, or you felt not
when she was now married?
by N. Saomai from the Vietnamese text in
Tonís† poetry collection ĎThap tinhí published in 1969 in
The Writers Post
1999, based in the US.
published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).
© N. Saomai 2005. Nothing in
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