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From Nghĩa LỘ Hamlet

From Nghĩa LỘ Hamlet

By Nguyen Quang Hung

The grass expands endlessly
A pair of dragonflies seemingly from thousands of years ago
Appears among the bright afternoon clouds
Auntie looks to be sixteen
Everywhere on the field, for several decades
Everyone I have met in the village resembles her
Perhaps for this I have always returned
To walk among the trees and grass as if lost
Here Tử Trầm Mountain is shaped like a dragon
Resplendently ascending the jade-colored cornfield
Phoenix mountain echoes with temple bells, drums, and songs
Lion mountain with its rising mane sways with tall trees
A giant tortoise's shadow bends its head
My aunt's faint shadow follows the village children's kites
Haloed light descends with the cool breeze

Aura of temples, halls, dikes
Human shadows besides the open nothingness
Perhaps for this I have always returned
To see myself here and everywhere far near disappearing

Perhaps for this the village roads
Grow from the clouds to connect with the earth
Every roof is familiar
Every face is old  

Translated by Thuy Dinh


Nguyen Quang Hung

Nguyen Quang Hung was born in 1980 and currently lives in Hà Đông Province, which now belongs to Hanoi. He has authored two poetry chapbooks, Garden of Light (2008) and Lunar Season (2011), both published by the Vietnam Writers' Association Publishing House. His poetry has appeared in a number of joint collections including Vietnamese Poetry – the First Decade of the 21st Century and New Poetry 36 Degree (a joint collection of eight distinguished young Vietnamese poets). He has been honored with the Second Prize of the Chùa Village's "Poetry & Origin" writing competition (2007-2008).

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