Poems by Nguyen Binh Hong Cau from Vietnam

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Her biography: Other name: SONG HONG

Member of Vietnamese Writers’ Association

Member of Ho Chi Minh City Writers’ Association

Poet Nguyen Binh Hong Cau is the daughter of poet Nguyen Binh, a famous Vietnamese romantic poet.

Main literature works published:

Half folk songs (poetry, 2005); Picking up my shadow (poetry, 2007); Hundred years of pain (poetry, 2009); Going through the storm eye (story 2009); After the storm (writing prose, 2011); Waking up with the old land (poetry, 20014); Little Bell (TV script, 30 episodes, 2013); Seeds of feather grass (poem, 2020); My father – Poet Nguyen Binh; Thirst for the green day; ripe Autumn.

Her poems:

A defect sky dome of father’s homeland

Father gave birth to me at the end of the fatherland

immense green

mangrove forest, melaleuca forest

the riverbed is red with human blood of reclamers

a sweat fills the sea

tears are wet of lyrics far from home

at night listening to birds chirping and gibbon shouting

repeating day by day

the sound of amaurornis phoenicurus reminding for pain.

Mangrove tree and melaleuca tree

layers overlaping layers

outstretching arms to keep the shore

the rice tree bends its back with gratitude

dear Ca Mau, in every fiber of the soil

is there a seed of my umbilical cord?

Father dug at a corner of the old garden,

sent to other homeland the umbilical cord

let me be the child of the land

incubated me

in the hero of the South.

Still worrying in a corner of the father’s homeland

Trang Nghiem mountain range is alone in the middle of the countryside

home garden and pond still are oenanthe javanica and morning glory

malabar spinach of neighbor is still green

the old star fruit tree that great grandfather planted, now is still flowering.

Fields at father’s homeland are low

rain flying heavily

white soil white sky

white crops, a miserable life

white stork wings in a dream.

Compassionating grandmother flap

packing rain in the afternoon and dew of early morning

packing windstorms and floods of whole lifetime

compassionating father’s verse

hard working

carrying the nostalgia

two regions of deltas

fully burning

the love fire.

Dear homeland

how many times I go back

still like a stranger


I compassionate myself

A defect sky dome of father’s homeland

To pick up a shadow of falling afternoon

There’s a river flowing through my life

ferocious waves

silent immensity

the river flows between the two false and real banks.

I was swimming and diving throughout the river in my youth

and mirroring

down the river at the age of fifty

white on both sides of the bank with rain and sunshine

twilight on the horizon

I pick up the shadow of falling afternoon.

There’s a river flowing through my life

old lyrics, unfinished love poem

a little bit of fate, bubbles at the top of the rapids

hearing lightly the birds calling for friends

I am alone to pick up the shadow of falling afternoon.

There’s a river flowing through my life

so immense

my boat is small

more than half a rotten life

do not reach the shore

embracing the space

for a thousand years to dream forever

whose shore is far away… without me.

A trace of time

The day to meet again

the old sister has passed the youth

hair is white as thousand white reeds

silence at afternoon riverside

I’m heartbroken

looking at her unsteady figure

suddenly feel

as if my fault

in front of her – old

enduring hardship.


The day to meet again

so many things to say

life story

past hardship story

in front of her – the pain

every word is meaningless

I keep silent

carrying the creaking time

tearing eyes

seeking for her past figure.

Her hands are callous

the trace of cutting time

touching my hands

a moment – a human life.

The green sun

You say the sun is yellow in morning

I silently think the color of the dawn

You say the sun is redy in afternoon

I silently think the color of the sunset

This morning you say the sun is gray

I look down thinking the color of the windstorm

Noon you say the sun is green

I die standing in that green sun.

The woman goes through the storm eye

Dedicated to my dear mother soul

From the bottom of war

so black



fields lined with hawks

My mother – the woman who bent her back and carried the burden

the way forward

so far away

vertical wall…

Mother walked in the thunderstorms

the wind blew in all directions

deep hatred

deathly imprisonment.

Mother knelt down


Mother went through the dark cell

back from hell

patching the soul patching the flesh


debt to the country and to the family

Mother went forward.

Forty years

end the war

Mother returned to the roofless house

children without father

wife without husband

Mother only left for herself

a half weary shadow.

A street vendor

Both sides of the boulevard

high-rise building

sky high

wide roadbed.

The old woman crosses the road

carrying heavily street goods on shoulders

her crooked shadow

in the midday of ferocious sunshine

hardship soaked her shoulders.

The old woman walks along the high street

the voice does not reach the human realm

the street vendor

exerting the sorrow of humanity.

The old woman enters the deep alley

behind the high-rise building

zigzag passages

as spider webs

too many sewers


without wind.

The voice of the old woman selling goods

stucking in the middle of the poverty life

carrying the goods

along with the hardship.

The toothless old woman smiles

the alleys are bright with sunshine. 

I and I

Dear old trace,

my four sides were billowy seas

any minute

also entangled in storms

dust waves crashing in afternoon

dead sunset

I and I

squeezing my own bitterness.

shaking far away

your fairy sails

dreaming alone

white mist

covering your region


I and I

holding on the dream of life.

Continuously caring

alone in thousands of miles

opening hands

smoke and cloud in late afternoon

water flowing over the bridge

duckweeds do not anchor

tired illusion

flickering the drift afternoon.

Taking some past green

crying withered seasons

I and I

salt without ginger

the way of hundred years

horizontal boat without connecting trip

must owe each other

a loyal love.

The bitter sea

Beside the shore

a woman standing still

holding a wilted rose

the sun is about to set

she doesn’t cry

a gust blowing

rose petals falling freely

the woman chasing the wind

picking up the pink petals

waves covering the shore

white foams.

What does the woman look for in the sand?

moody seashell

rough sea surface

horizontal time traces

continuous wave eyes

rose petals drifting away.

The woman looking for

memories bruised in the sand

far away bitterness


The woman

waiting for

a sail.


is still windy


crashing wave.

In the woman’s hands

leaving a shed rose branch

dark thorns

puncturing the heart of sky.

This afternoon

sandcrabs stop to build in sand

the woman drops

the prayer

on the wave

up and down

far away.

The bitter sea.

The glass in four seasons of mine

Pouring into the glass

a foolish childhood of mine

at nights singing day songs

sparkling sunshine.

Pouring into the glass

the summer of mine

bare feet

running on the grass

immense green

the atmosphere

marinated in aroma of ripe fruits.

Pouring into the glass

the autumn of mine

watery eyes

sad sturnidae

singing to the river song.

Putting in the glass

winter pellets

I touch the glass

jingle sound


Tropical day

the way of mine

winter night



I drink up

spring, summer, autumn, winter

pursed lips and eyes

the glass in four seasons of mine

acrid bitterness

The dried day

Tilting afternoon

touching the ending season

the woman tries to write a little bit during the day

fluttering to pull out the time to make a fire

releasing illusion dreams into the sky.

Spreading empty hands in the real region

loss of faith

halfway penitence

faint humanity

torturing each other

legendary songs.

Chasing days

tired halo

night trying to hold on

illusory thin moon

the infinity world

opening mouth to swallow the variability of all things.

A tear


no landing

the dried day.

After the storm

The woman sitting by the window

after the storm

a tattered house

an excruciating pain

dragged each other to the marriage court.

Love is evaporated

incarnation of hatred

wounds of words

beating each other fiercely

pleasures are minced

memories split in two halves

so painful…

ice age.

Kids trying

crawling through the flood

tottering under the sun

mental disability.

The woman

sitting by the window

belated drops of regret

measuring the loneliness

falling late afternoon.

 The woman

trying to gather little sunshine

warming herself up

in the empty house.

A stage of words

The stage is magical color

two men face to face

melodramatic elegance

pale truth

empty chest

emotional imprisonment

angry words

hanging themselves on the cross

waiting for the resurrection.

The third person appeared

the tattered-ragged woman

quietly gathering her fate

holding tightly the heart

nailing the chest.

Beating time

the escaped pain

incarnation of characters

sublimation feeling

fireworks spreading the words

language sparkles of her feelings.

Poetry grows wings


Tears of My Nuong Princess


spring rain


sad layers

Ho Guom surface

clouds do not shine

mossy Thap Rua

faint smoke.

I heard in the wind

old people whispered

dear My Chau

the blood tear of love

the long history of goose feathers

national disaster due to the love trap.

Ho Guom surface

bouncing waves

sword paths

crushed the faces of ancients

what sword for the mistaken heart

what sword for the deceiver

Princess’s blood tear

full of history

flooded my soul

bitterness in spring afternoon.

I don’t have a magic crossbow

not the Princess Mi Nuong

for you to trap a love net

I am just me

a foolish heart

trapping to myself

caught in the love net

one day realized

you with me

are nothing

not as husband for me petrifying

not lovers

to warm up the vow.

Be silent

looking at you, a stranger

the framed heart

the frozen love.

The numbed soul

I am so cold in January.

The green dawn

I drink up the old pine song with the sound of birds singing in new day, drink up the dawn of wild sunflower season and appoin to the early sunshine with green for hundreds of years.

Da Lat is carefree in the four seasons of flowers and grass, every flower is elegant in color, innocent fragrance around the hardship fate of people, not divided into two roles of rich or poor.

There is a Da Lat puberty standing tall on a hill, private villas, encrusted with gems and plated golds and magnificent spaciousness, money stuffed into rich’s pockets.

There is a Da Lat in me with hundred thousand of steep slopes, zigzagging deep alleys compressing tightly the exile tears.

Wandering around in Da Lat, meeting the old souls to carry the sadness of the mountains, the mourning burden carried changes, the autumn heels with many entangled ways, the sad dried petals of delonix regia dying purple the steps of the ancients.

I drink all the joys and sorrows of Dalat, filling each other with the cup of impermanence, drunk – conscious cup of Da Lat love, with the dawns, full of four flower seasons. Flowers of the four seasons, full of dawns.

A broken night

An exhausted night

the sun incubates the sunshine

I joke holy on the spicy betel piece

a pristine drop

hanging across on top of the grass

spring song rumbles the stork

I gather

the human story

warming up myself

hardship in falling afternoon.

the broken night

teary eyes holding on

the night of nostalgia sleep in puberty

the piece of ripe green betel in debt

hanging reverse lives of each other


routine rotation.

(Translated into English by Hanoi Female Translators)