Showing posts from May, 2023

Ocean Vuong

    Gấu có thể là người đầu tiên, trong giới viết lách, khi post bài thơ của anh, về bức hình Tướng Loan xử VC ngay trên đường phố Sài Gòn. Bài thơ, ý nghĩa của nó, khác hẳn, không giống ai, trong giới cầm bút Mít khi phát biểu về nó. Ocean Vuong The Photo After the infamous 1968 photograph of a Viet Cong officer executed by South Vietnam's national police chief. What hurts the most is not how death is made permanent by the cameras flash the irony of sunlight on gunmetal but the hand gripping the pistol is a yellow hand, and the face squinting behind the barrel a yellow face. Like all photographs this one fails to reveal the picture. Like where the bullet entered his skull the phantom of a rose leapt into light, or how after smoke cleared from behind the fool with blood

100 Poets & One Poem Each: Một Trăm Thi Sĩ & Mỗi Ông Một

   COMMENTARY   Poem 28 beautifully conflates natural and human imagery. The word “karu” (in the form “karenu”, 'dried up', in the poem) acts as a pun ( kake- kotoba) meaning both 'to wither' and '[visitors] grow infrequent' that serves to connect the season (winter) to the poet's sense of isolation. The word “yamazato”, translated here as 'mountain abode', can also mean 'mountain hamlet', conveying more of a sense of community and therefore not quite so isolated. The poem is a variation on one by Fujiwara no Okikaze ( fl. early tenth century):   When autumn comes I join the crickets in their plaintive cry, for I know grasses and visitors will both dry up.   (Aki kureba /mushi to tomo ni / nakarenuru /  hito mo kusaba mo / karenu to omoeba)     In poem 28, the season has changed to winter, which further deepens the sense of physical and emotional withering.

Anna Akhmatova: Requiem

 Note:        Trên trang New Tin Văn Gấu đã post nguyên tác tiếng Nga, bản dịch tiếng Anh của 1 số dịch giả nổi tiếng, trường ca Kinh Cầu của Anna Akhmatova. Riêng bản tiếng Việt, cũng đã có, nhưng không đầy đủ, và để lung tung.  Lần này, dịch trọn ở đây.                                                   Anna Akhmatova Requiem 1935-1940 Not under foreign skies protection Or saving wings of alien birth – I was then there – with whole my nation – There, where my nation, alas! was. 1961 INSTEAD OF A PREFACE In the awful days of the Yezhovschina I passed seventeen months in the outer waiting line of the prison visitors in Leningrad. Once, somebody ‘identified’ me there. Then a woman, standing behind me in the line, which, of course, never heard my name, waked up from the torpor, typical for us all there, and asked me, whispering into my ear (all spoke only in a whisper there): “And can you describe this?” And I answered: “Yes, I can.” Then the weak similarity of a smile glid

Borges, A Reader

                                                                  THE OLD POET'S VOICE   Blindness privileged poetry. Now, it was easier for Borges to compose a poem in his head than a story or an essay. The predictable rhythms and even the rhymes, the musical structure of verse, favored the memorizing and rewriting of it. Because he was virtually blind, Borges could go on endlessly composing his poems. But the man who returned to poetry in his mid-fifties was a completely different craftsman. His young ambition of being able to write “the” poem had been forgotten. Now he favored a more conventional, almost classical diction. In returning to the old craft, he wrote about some of the subjects he had already explored in fiction and essays, but the tone was more relaxed or casual, the revelati