Born in Indonesia of Chinese ancestry, Li- Young Lee emigrated with his family to the United States in 1964. At one time, while still living in China, his father Richard had served as Mao Zedong's personal physician; later he helped found Gamaliel University in Jakarta. Wrongly accused of sedition by the Sukarno government, he was imprisoned. On his release, the family fled the country and for five years wandered from Hong Kong to Macao to Japan before finally settling in rural Pennsylvania, where Lee's father attended the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and became a Presbyterian minister. Lee himself graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and pursued graduate studies at the University of Arizona and the State University of New York at Brockport. In a memoir, Lee recalls that his father always carried in his right suit-pocket a small handful of seeds, and when he asked his father why, the reply was "Remembrance." In their own way, Lee's poems are like black seeds in the white pockets of his books' pages. They remember tenderly his father's fate and his family's fortunes. But beyond that, his meditations-sometimes intense, sometimes evanescent- focus on the idea of boundaries. Identity is one, relationships another, and Lee threads his way through the margins and paradoxes of both.

    [from “The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry”, 2nd Edition]

    One Heart 

    Look at the birds. Even flying
    is born
    out of nothing. The first sky
    is inside you, open
    at either end of day.
    The work of wings
    was always freedom, fastening
    one heart to every falling thing.


    As though touching her
    might make him known to himself,
    as though his hand moving
    over her body might find who
    he is, as though he lay inside her, a country
    his hand's traveling uncovered,
    as though such a country arose
    continually up out of her
    to meet his hand's setting forth and setting forth.
    And the places on her body have no names.
    And she is what's immense about the night.
    And their clothes on the floor are arranged
    for forgetfulness.


    -for Li-Young Lee

    The likelihood of ever finding it is small.
    It's like being accosted by a woman
    And asked to help her look for a pearl
    She lost right here in the street.
    She could be making it all up,
    Even her tears, you say to yourself,
    As you search under your feet,
    Thinking, Not in a million years ...
    It's one of those summer afternoons
    When one needs a good excuse
    To step out of a cool shade.
    In the meantime, what ever became of her?
    And why, years later, do you still,
    Off and on, cast your eyes to the ground
    As you hurry to some appointment
    Where you are now certain to arrive late?
    Charles Simic

    Dịch theo kiểu classic :

    Một chút gì 

    Sẽ chẳng bao giờ biết được đâu
    Chút gì rất nhẹ ... tựa hôm nào
    Nàng đến kề bên, nhờ tìm giúp
    Giữa đường rơi một hạt minh châu
    Có thể rằng Nàng bịa đấy thôi
    E rằng nước mắt cũng vờ rơi
    Mắt dò dưới chân, lòng thầm nghĩ
    Tìm suốt triệu năm cũng chỉ hoài
    Hôm ấy, một chiều của mùa hè
    Cuồng chân trong bóng mát im che
    Viện trăm ngàn cớ mà ra khỏi ...
    Còn Nàng , vì cớ gì vậy kìa ?
    Thế thôi mà sao sau bao năm
    Thi thoảng mắt lại dò mặt đường
    Những lần vội đến nơi hò hẹn
    Dù biết mười mươi, trễ, chuyện thường


    Tks. NQT

    • Khanh Huynh Bản dịch đẹp,; Vừa như bức tranh tố nữ, vừa như bài thơ Đường ấy,..
  • Write a reply...

  • Khanh Huynh Khi đã vướng tơ tình dẫu triệu năm vẫn kiếm, dẫu biết nàng trễ hẹn, vẫn cứ đến, hoặc là chàng, đến sớm hơn giờ hẹn đấy chứ. Gấu Ga-lăng mà. Tuyệt vời.


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