Tag Archives: Huỳnh Sanh Thông

Through wooded hills, sand trails immersed in mist;
cockrow from moon-lit huts; fresh marks of shoes
on dew-soaked bridge. Along the path, at night,
a girl braved wind and weather walking on.

The eastern sky glowed up, lit mulberry groves-
forlorn, Kiều knew not where to find a home.
Then, in the distance, loomed a Buddhist church-
she read the sign: “Retreat of Blessed Peace.”
She made straight for the entrance gate and knocked-
a nun heard her, came out, and let her in.

Nguyễn Du, from The Tale of Kiều (ll. 2029-2038), trans. by  Huỳnh Sanh Thông

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The Southern emperor rules the Southern land.
Our destiny is writ in Heaven’s Book.
How dare ye bandits trespass on our soil?
Ye shall meet your undoing at our hands!

Lý Thường Kiệt, ‘The Southern Emperor Rules The Southern Land’, trans. by Huỳnh Sanh Thông