Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A short partial translation of a very long well-known poem

The writer in his early twenties was dreaming of a bright future for Vietnam when Viet minh ( Viet cong) proclaimed independence of Vietnam from the French; Ho chi minh read the Declaration of Independence on 9/2/1945 in Hanoi. But then in another Autumn morning the author realized the truth.
Abhorrent Fields- by Nguyễn Chí Thiện

But one morning of Autumn (*)
The inexperienced bright eyes of youth
Which had been beguiled
In the effulgent red star flag
Where blues, greens, and pinks would radiate
in beloved motherland
Deception roll out
Unseen-before brutality, evil were born,
grew monstrously
Pillars of the nation shook violently
The sun of life
Pools and pools of blood
Oh, dear seasons’ crops of hard work
Were flooded and turned into swamps
Red waves after waves
of barbaric incarnation
Drowned the past and future

Going, or returning (**)
Deformed as through hell—
Fear widened, engulfed
Dead arrest, speechlessness surfaced
History turned back the clock
To the age of tigers, leopards, snakes, scorpions,
fangs and tongues protruding
Killing committees and courts
Rose in the thousands
Under morning sunshine.

(*) : implying the evil August of 1945 in the Autumn, when Vietminh, the pre-existence of Vietcong, claimed they had been the leaders and representatives of the people of Vietnam.
(**) : Going to jail, or returning home.
“Đồng Lầy”
Nhưng rồi một sớm mùa Thu trở lại Tuổi hai mươi mắt nhìn đời trẻ dại Ngỡ Cờ Sao rực rỡ Tô thắm màu xứ sở yêu thương Có ngờ đâu giáo giở đã lên đường Hung bạo phá bờ kim cổ Tiếng mối rường rung đổ chuyển non sông Mặt trời sự sống Thổ ra Từng vũng máu hồng Ôi tiếc thương bao mùa lúa vun trồng Một Mùa Thu nước lũ Trở thành bùn nước mênh mông Lớp lớp sóng hồng Man dại Chìm trôi quá khứ tương lai Máu Lệ Mồ hôi Dớt dãi Đi về ai nhận ra ai Khiếp sợ Sững sờ Tê dại! Lịch sử quay tít vòng ngược lại Thời hùm beo rắn rết công khai Ngàn vạn đấu trường mọc dậy giữa ban mai
... NCT

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