Poems by Ngo Thanh Van from Vietnam

Επιμέλεια παρουσίασης: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Her biography: Born on June 12 in Gia Lai; Hometown: Nghe An Currently living and working in Pleiku, Gia Lai. Member of Vietnam Writers’ Association. Member of the Association of Literature and Arts of Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities. Member of Gia Lai Culture and Arts Association.

Literature works published: Through the memory region (Poetry collection); Whisper to You (A Collection of Short Stories); June 12 (Poetry); Night Sketch (Poetry); Listening to the breath of leaves (Poetry); Foreign land (A collection of short stories); Mist region and Streets (prose)

Awards: Young Prize of the Vietnamese Arts and Culture Association; Prize C of Gia Lai Provincial Arts and Culture Association; Fourth Prize, Xu Thanh Magazine; Consolation prizes of Gia Lai Provincial Culture and Arts Association; Prize C of Gia Lai Provincial Culture and Arts Award.

Her poems:

The makeup


I draw myself a new face

that it is different from me


with a variety of color

portraits to sell, no one buys

pale on me

it is even pale on inner feelings of the deep sleep in the subconsciousness


I am more beautiful

vivid colors

and the brushes seem mastered

I make up for what eyes see and ears hear

lulling all senses

thought I’m smart and clever

night hits me the truth

back to myself with the pain of a person who knows crying

the mask is only effective when the sun is shining

applying, erasing, washing

wanting the sterilization to return me the innocent and pure

the innocent has left

I shake my head. The lonely shake


another mask

waiting for.

The rough sea

Stumbled by a pebble in the ocean

I slipped tottering

waves competing to come up

full of envy

verse is a pinwheel

spinning me hard to the wind direction

oscillating a peaceful area of letters

dancing on the redundant party

I bargained with the wave

the wave is me. And vice versa

my limit is narrow

the wave is screaming at the sea

this afternoon the sea is rough

thousands of waves racing each other

still jealous and competing

luckily the bargain could not be effective

I sit with the verse. Cried.

The molt

Self deluding about the halo behind a firefly tail

fanciful blue light at nights

gestating the continuous days, the measurement of the soft insect

every word crawles out of the mind

dancing on the page

I contain with premonitions, predictions, forecasts

no beginning, no end

longing for the stop point

sometimes. I compromise with the shadow

dark and silent shadow on the wall

the share (probably) is the most safe

withdrawing all my heart

holding the shadow. That shadow holds me

the insecurity reigns in the wrinkled forehead

crepting on the mollusk feet

hesitating in thought

vague in thousands of things that need very much the faith

it seems as if I’m selling myself

in heaven dreams

insects singing to pay a song for life

purified by night dew

the wind blows through the cold season

floating clear serenade

I learned from the night with countless laughters

glowing molluscs

the way of mollusks

the pain of sea clams

so as not to delude myself

when not start a fire

not dedicate all giving season

for poetry.

Night in Pleiku

Night in Pleiku

exposing naked chests

hills in bowl upside down

tired of knees, the remote ways


Night in Pleiku

wandering aimless footsteps

you draw a circle on the brown eyes

by cigarette smoke

melting into me into dew

naked hands caress the night

Pleiku with young ladies

golden hills are protruding

glittering eyes of shaking Bien Ho

Pleiku stirs up my low note

definately like a silent pine tree

you stir up my thirst

puberty night, girl fragrance

tilted night.

The rebirth

Moving myself

struggling in a tight shirt

in a chaos thoughts

words found me

seeing me asleep on the hill

dreaming of the far away horizon

thousands of twinkling stars

on the river with crashing waves

I sing a song for myself

autumn short passage. And old things

old thoughts

old words

old ideas

the train runs on the old rail

lulling me

in heaven dreams

seeing me to fly towards the sun

tearing the cover off

burning body into the fire

burning myself


(Translated into English by HFT)