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Poetry

The Utopian

By Ngo Tu Lap
Translated from Vietnamese by Martha Collins & Ngo Tu Lap
Vietnamese poet Ngo Tu Lap meditates on memory, hope, and destiny.

I will find myself in a mirror
My name in a line of poetry
My destiny in a person I’ve never met

Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea
Listening to songs of seaweed and foam
A sleepwalker with nothing to lose or gain
In that Khuong Co land, the sun set under my feet

Now I raise my eyes
Dim with the red dust of time
Or is it the dust of remembered mountains?

Invisible candles shine in the night
There is hope in every moment
In the crossroads of my window

Khuong Co is an imaginary country that appears in a short story by the author. Its name suggests “nowhere” in Vietnamese.

Translation of “Không tưởng.” Copyright Ngo Tu Lap. Translation copyright 2007 by Martha Collins and Ngo Tu Lap. All rights reserved.

 

English

I will find myself in a mirror
My name in a line of poetry
My destiny in a person I’ve never met

Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea
Listening to songs of seaweed and foam
A sleepwalker with nothing to lose or gain
In that Khuong Co land, the sun set under my feet

Now I raise my eyes
Dim with the red dust of time
Or is it the dust of remembered mountains?

Invisible candles shine in the night
There is hope in every moment
In the crossroads of my window

Khuong Co is an imaginary country that appears in a short story by the author. Its name suggests “nowhere” in Vietnamese.

Translation of “Không tưởng.” Copyright Ngo Tu Lap. Translation copyright 2007 by Martha Collins and Ngo Tu Lap. All rights reserved.

 

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