THE WRITERS POST

(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.

VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2

JUL 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARTHA LACKRITZ

_______________________________

 

CA DAO,

VIETNAMESE FOLK POETRY,

translated by

Martha Lackritz

 

 

 

 

Anh như cy gỗ xoan đo

Em như cu đối, dn vo nn chăng?

Em như cy kiểng trn cha

Anh như con bướm đậu nhờ nn chăng?

 

I am like the trunk of a peach tree

and you a line of verse:

shall you carve yourself into my bark?

You are like a tree in the pagoda

and I a butterfly:

shall I perch myself upon your branches?

 

***

 

 

Tnh anh như nước dng cao

Tnh em như dải lụa đo tẩm hương.

 

My love is like high-flowing waters,

yours a ruddy silk ribbon

rippling in fragrance.

 

***

 

Ước g anh ha ra dưa,

Để em đem tắm nước mưa chậu đồng.

Ước g em ha ra dơi,

Bay đi bay lại trn nơi anh nằm.

 

She: If only you were a melon,

I would wash you in rainwater in a brass basin.

 

He: If only you were a bat

flying to and from, above the place where I lie.

 

***

 

Cổ tay em trắng như ng

Con mắt em liếc như l dao cau

Miệng cười như thể hoa ngu

Ci khăn đội đầu như thể hoa sen.

 

Your wrists are white as ivory,

Your eyes cast downward as sharp as the blade of a betel knife,

Your lips pucker like a fragrant flower,

Your scarf rests about your head like a lotus.

 

***

 

Mưa sa giọt nhỏ giọt ngưng

Đi ta duyn nợ bao chừng nhớ thương.

 

The rain falls brief, in fragile drops of water

We are fated to love each other

only just so.

 

***

 

Ước g em biến ra chum

Anh biến ra nc, anh trmtrn.

 

If only you were a jug of water

Id turn into a lid, and lay myself upon you.

 

***

 

Mưa từ trong ni mưa ra

Mưa khắp thin hạ mưa qua cha Thầy

Đi ta đă gặp nhau đy

Như con b gầy gặp bi cỏ non.

 

It rains from within the mountains and rains on

It rains all over the world and it rains past Thay Pagoda

We met each other here

Like a lean cow meets grass on the mountainside.

 

***

 

Hỡi c da đỏ m hồng

C đi theo chồng, c bỏ xứ cha

By giờ tuổi tc đ gi

Xứ chồng c bỏ, xứ cha c về.

 

To the woman with the red skin and pink cheeks

You followed your husband and left your fathers land,

Now that you are old

You have left your husbands land

and returned to your fathers.

 

***

 

ng thấp m lấy mụ cao

Đến khi bp v lấy so m quơ.

 

Short old man marries a tall old hag

When he reaches for her breasts, he has to use a pole.

 

***

 

Ước g sng rộng một gang,

Bắc cẩu dải yếm để chng sang chơi!

 

If only the river spanned the length of my blouse,

the strings about my shoulders

forming a bridge

for my love to cross over!

 

MARTHA LACKRITZ

 

 

 

The Writers Post
the magazine of literature

& literature-in-translation,

founded 1999, based in the US.

 

VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2 JULY 2005

 

Editorial note: Works published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).

Copyright Martha Lacritz 2005. Nothing in this magazine may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/ The Writers Post/ and Wordbridge magazine. Creating links to place The Writers Post or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.

 

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