Hu Vo’s Love Poems

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Huvo

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  • Từ: 16.03.2008
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Hu Vo’s Love Poems 23.03.2013 05:27:04 (permalink)
Introduction
 
In almost all respects, the world we now live is vastly different from the world that is reflected in Hu Vo’s body of work.  In Hu Vo’s poems, Saigon was a city for young lovers, indeed, love was perhaps his greatest story of the time.  It was an era of simplicity, of beauty, and of everlasting love – reverberating as the most loyal and sacred revere in his literature, which seemed no longer possible to discern in modern poetry.
In many ways, Hu Vo’s love poems have something in common with songs, not just the devoured-in-a-single-sitting aspect of them, but their distillation of emotion and circumstance, their fascination in exquisite pain. Like songs, his poems are all about a love gone tragic. This love represents his life and possibilities, spiritual entrances and exits, which are never within his reach but, as his words tell us, due to interesting, musical, and sorrowful particularities, pass by and away and without – like a long, gushing wind across a terrain.
If literature exists, as in a novel, where readers can spend time with characters a writer has committed a lot of time to develop, then a short poem would encounter a great deal of limitation when its author – as well as its readers – has only had one choice: to spend an abbreviated amount of time with its inhabitants. And because of this limitation, how would a poem accounts for such prevailing sadness of an unrequited love? As in Hu Vo’s case, an ardent linguophile, he has an interest in the value, beauty, and malarkey of words that can disguise and obscure his own understanding the nature of love – a psychological and profoundly dramatic emotion that shapes his own experiences.  That is how the wounds of his broken heart are best captured on the page: through the sounds and lyrics of his language.  When the poems are collected and put together in the assembling of a book, they shine a light upon the depth of the author’s soul – his knowledge of his singular character – the object of his affection.
In the end, the assortment of Hu Vo’s poems have rendered the author a chance to emerge as a strong voice, to express in clairvoyant, appalling details of the smoldering, heart-wrenching love affair between his own tormented, torturous spirit and the innocent, barely-of-age protagonist, and the decades that have been keeping them apart.
But look at what gloriously remains of this passion.
 
Kiên Nguyễn
 
 
Yellow Summer Dress
 
You passed by, your shadow spilling across the porch outside.
A flock of tiny magpies exploded toward farther reaches.
Startled, summer tumbled down unhindered all about.
Blossoming in the arbor of your hair were yellow petals.
 
Sunlight clear and pure seeped through the panels of your gown.
Your dress was so fine and filmy that my heart stammered.
Though it was but a fleeting moment,
I heard summer daintily trip across taut-stringed frets.
 
When you, hair hanging loose, made your way across,
Rows of trees tipped their hats in a flurry of farewells.
You took the summer with you across the bridge.
I, like a stranger, searched everywhere for my shadow.
 
Where life has brought you now, the sunshine shimmers.
And you must cover up that bit of faded love.
Sentiments remain for that corner of the street in our hometown.
Yellow for you in the dress and summer, sadness for me in the rain returning…
 
Translated by James Banerian
Original Title Áo Hạ Vàng
 
Hair Across a Lifetime

A poem written early in life is left unfinished,

As I have forgotten on which side your hair is parted.
We seek each other along faded tracks of days past.
Ere the moon was full I did not learn how you part your hair.
 
Rather to live instinctively like leaves,
Sad or happy, turned up or down, they remain together.
To keep myself from biting my lip and drawing blood,
I call your name frantically in my dreams.
 
Can you count how many times the cotton tree blossomed?
That’s how long your hair has grown out, trailing longer,
Transforming to a stream that draws me out to the sea,
Where the waves across life wash over, dampening your eyes.
 
Where you may be, moon drifting to some shore,
Whatever way you’ve taken, which way your shadow falls,
I tend downward toward a sadness spreading out branches.
A poem continued in later life…
 
Translated  by James Banerian
Original Title Mái Tóc Ngang Đời

Coffee of Life
 
 I was a drop of bitter coffee.
You a grain of sugar unspoiled.
With my spoon I stirred along
the bottom of the cup,
 
Trying to mingle our love forever.
I wander to the end of the street,
Counting the raindrops passing by,
Counting the sorrows I have still.
 
Do you ache as often as I?
The drop of coffee, sharp and bitter,
Rolls on pale lips,
The sugar was not yet diluted.
 
When so quickly we lost each other.
On the far side of the ocean,
Your sweetness spreads ever outward.
Each afternoon, I go to a café,
As I sip, I take in each welling tear …
   
Translated by James Banerian
Original Title Cà Phê Đời
 
Having Lost Everything, There Is Only Each Other  
 
 We let slip from our hands the first half of life.
The last half still lies ahead.
Our two halves combine to make one.
Added up, it comes to an eternity together.
 
I have strayed to a distant, foreign land
Where I do not feel at home in a crowd.
Forsaken during your dream youth,
The day you married, you cried, didn’t you?
 
Like a river split into two branches,
The heart retains the first fresh essence.
To have a dream once, through a small one,
To have you living by me – living and dying would be all the same.
 
Who knew life would bring so many drastic changes.
Time raced by, our hair turned gray,
We will find our way back when the moon falls to the earth.
Having lost everything, there is only each other…..
 
Translated by James Banerian
Original Title Chúng Mình Mất Hết, Chỉ Còn Nhau

Thank You, Dear, Last Lover
 
Thank you, dear,
for being the shadow
in which I might hide all my life.
Thank you, night.
Though yet in darkness,
how could I ever forget you?
 
Heart whispering,
piercing ache,
a life spent urgently seeking each other.
Thank you , dear,
my last lover,
for letting me know first love.
 
You are the night
in which I find sanctuary.
There the wound seems to have healed.
You are the knife.
I ooze blood.
Even now the cut remains intact.
 
That you may have a apart
in the remnants,
I give you an even share of me.
All the lovers I’ve known
still weep,
sharing tears they shed,
lonely….
 
Translated by James Banerian
Original Title Cảm Ơn Em, Người Tình Cuối

<bài viết được chỉnh sửa lúc 23.03.2013 05:50:13 bởi Huvo >
mưa bay trắng áo nhân tình hạt vung nhát chém tan hình tượng tôi đưa tay khuấy ngọn tơ trời nghe hư vô chảy qua đời lạnh tanh..
http://nguoitinhhuvo.wordpress.com/
http://www.amazon.com/Nguoi-Tinh-Hu-Vo-Vietnamese/dp/0987137603
 
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