Poems by author Nguyen Thuy Quynh from Vietnam

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Nguyen Thuy Quynh

Her brief biography: Born in 1968 in Nam Dinh province. Journalist, writer, poet.
Chairwoman of Thai Nguyen Province’s Literature and Art Association. Member of Vietnam Writers Association, Vietnam Journalists Association, and Vietnam Literature and Arts Association. Published 4 collections of poems. Won 5 literary Prizes

Her poems:


The bell has stopped ringing
Incense and candle has extinguished
Prayer has stopped
The stage has finished removing the main font

Have they flown away yet?
Who else is still hanging around the narrow motel room
Where the wind has no entrance
Who is still wandering in the deep alley?
Where the light doesn’t shine upon

Who is still dumbfounded with ambulance sirens
Running from May to October without a break
Who else is still lost in the tangled ropes around the body?
Not knowing they had fallen to another realm
Who is still rushing to take each patient’s breath from the hands of death?
Forgetting that they has let go after endless nights of exhaustion
Who is still lying in the refrigerated trucks
Refrigerated trucks lined up on the side of the smoke.

Someone said
They have all flown away
To a place where there is no more pain
No overload, no helplessness
No struggle to kneel in all directions
No thirst for oxygen to death

We saw them off
Expressed condolences
Comforted those who stayed
The city has lights on, the traffic is blocked, and it’s filled with street cries of the night
In the alley alone, the voices of children chattering
We lived in a different way
Try to forget the days when hell suddenly appeared in the middle of the world.

Why is it still like a stone in my heart
Why does it still feel like being in debt?
With the ashes lying dormant in the urn
With eyes that can’t be closed in the dark
Wait for a word we haven’t said.



howling wind
heavy rain
rumbling corrugated iron sheets on the roof
the broken vase fell into the sleep of the children.

In the middle of the storm
it comes.

One tenth of a second
i can see the terror in my children’s eyes
after its flash of lightning and its sky-shaking explosion
one hundredth of a second
i just noticed the small arms reaching out
my footsteps merge, to the end of the room
fifteen meters yet so gaping.

In the silent darkness
under my hand
I see your blood vessels running
neurons nestled together trembling
hurried young cells
longing for protection.

If it weren’t for that terrible thunder
I’d be thinking
about the long, pale, murky days ahead
still burying solitude into the night
like an ostrich running away from danger
by burying my head in the sand.

Sorry my children.


You says
we have gone too far so we failed
You says
It’s not too bad to fail because of faith
You says
go to sleep tomorrow is a new day

That night I listened to you
Let go
Release the afternoon bewilderment into the wind
Return the foam to the river
Return the blind to the dark
Exchange anger for pity
Then calmly look at the tender white petals of chrysanthemums
Waiting for tomorrow to come

Where do you know that night?
you struggled in the dream “that you đied”
be a tree full of water flowing
soaked in the cold wind”(*)

We are trust investors
We are not shared the truth
The truth is at the end of the secret

Tomorrow I will be stuck by the foggy lake
You got stuck in the first storm of the season
White daisy can’t be guilty
With the things no one repents

At the end of that night you alone
Dragged old man Santiago’s swordfish skeleton from the sea back home
Rebuilt a world.

(*) Poetry of Dinh Thi Nhu Thuy


In your mother’s numb hands
behind your father’s back
on the hot saddle on the long road
under the fiery sky
on the side of the wild trees by the roadside
the minute of clinging to each other through the stormy field

You grow up

Over a million million turns of worn-out wheels
patiently carry a whole family
the only legacy is life
blundering back to the place where you were eager to leave
and then you said goodbye to a place where there was so much warmth

You grow up
In the middle of the human-river flowing through the night
escape the attack of the invisible destroyer
the rope strung across the alley
the street is blaring with the sound of an ambulance siren
between thirst for milk and rice

You grow up
In a quick pause
receive a cool bottle of water from dirty hands
quickly eat the lunch box and give sympathetic eyes
while waiting for my parents to stretch their backs on the roadside
under the immense sky

You grow up
Dawn rises from the peaceful side
mother bends down to hold her child
father follows the body of the car
today’s paradise has your names
the babies are walking and growing.


Look at the sky, the earth, people and us
Build a house that opens five doors

The door facing the mountain
four lush seasons
floating with fogs and clouds through life
sometimes we go to the mountain to sit.

Door overlooking the sea
cool breeze
what if one day we get dirty
the sea washes until we are clear blue.

Door opening to neighbors
We bring all our kindness to exchange
looking forward to receiving some close friends
when it’s dark, the light turns off.

Door watching our grandparents
where we bow our heads when walking in, step out widely
the faraway road is bumpy, the road is winding and narrow
incense sticks follow
remember the way back.

Door to the sky
no more debt
we can roam on the road.

(Translated into English by HFT)