Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Tưởng Niệm Thanh Tâm Tuyền
sáng tác - thơ
Tác giả: Thường Quán

Một tiếng còi xe
di chân chạy thấp bầu trời
Sáng. Đã sáng
Dưới bầu quang người đi quá giang
đứng chờ một cuốc khác thực vắng

Xa một hành lang lầu đá ong đen
kèn đục tiếng trong xoay trở rặng bạch dương
trăng cũng đục vàng như thềm đá
mây chực đập
giật giành cửa với tóc

Tiếng - bỏ lại chỉ tiếc sách
rồi vài khuôn mặt

Tiếng ậm ờ đứa con nằm nôi
đẹp bầu ngực đang làm sữa
trũng thấp sẫm
ngày sẽ có nắng muộn
tiếng ho trưa khan quíu
cỏ tranh mắt thú hoẳng hoảng hốt

Tiếng nữa - sữa từ máu, biển từ muối
căn nhà chực ngã vào bọt sóng

Đã hở rầm trần bao nhiêu mây vần vụ
ngoài cơi hiên
treo nắng

chiếc áo len
ran xanh
tất cả hai mươi

Thường Quán

Elegy to Thanh Tam Tuyen

A siren runs its course, a low line of feet
shuffling under the open dawn
a fine-weathered beginning for passengers dotting the road

By the road you waited, a lone figure
lingering on patiently perhaps for one late coming coach.
Things would be much quieter, then stillness.

Behind you at a fair distance I could see that house
the blue stone old outpost at the edge of town, its veranda,
a saxophone was out

Moving, muted tones of old walls, rooftops late winter, dark winds,
hiding, seeking, behind rows of emaciated poplars
keeping the moon at bay

That moon, an old tone-deaf instrument,
a stone lamp giving a burnished solace to the descending flight of steps.

On this side of the game, the build up of clouds.
encroaching. This one window is to be taken away,
but not just yet. A voice trailing off like an after-thought:
“I would mostly miss books, I would
and, faces, some faces”

On the other side of a partition-wall, a new-born baby,
the ceiling open to sunlight a fine day,
the lactating breasts of a woman.
Grace this, this ancient morning.

In the outfield, the sun is harsh, overpowering
the sound of someone coughing in the village reminding this is now Noon
against the black and white landscape
the eyes of many shy animals
move against the long-stemmed grass,
the voice is heard once again, against
the echoes of past afternoons:
Milk comes from Blood
the Seas from Salt


Alas! the sea,
At the departure, she cast her cold disregard,
Alas! the house
At the last glance, she defied and went down
to the core.
The ceiling, its content, under the venting holes
all went. Mad. The moment,
the whole shadow
of a magnificent ruin
like a human laugh, it collapsed.


After that transfiguration ritual, later, days,
among visits of wakeful clouds
and the shock of fallen rocks and cooling foams
(all in the backyard of an island)
the people would hear the repetition of your poems
written when you were twenty

Some even claimed seeing your single act
in a blue jumper
hanging on a clothe-line in the sun
like all their childhood and youth
lumped into one.

Nguyen Tien Hoang
(translating from the original elegy in Vietnamese)

No comments: