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Empty wine jar – Poetry from Vietnam

Empty wine jar – Poetry from Vietnam
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A jar is full of wine but without the man, the house becomes an empty wine jar…

Four poets from Hai Phong, Vietnam, the Land of Blue Dragon, have shared their poems. Hai Phong is the third-largest city in Vietnam and the principal port city of the Red River Delta.

Vietnam-poet-1Poet: Nguyen Thi Thuy Ngoan

Empty wine jar

As waves crash against rocky shores

The house is filled with laughter

Full glass of wine

Then empty.


I’ve also run out of impulsive times

You guys are back!

Only me left!

Crescent moon unrests on the porch


A pair of geckos chase each other and cry:


The clock is restless

Sounds like sad music


A jar is full of wine


Without the man

The house becomes an empty wine jar…


Vietnam-Poet-2Poet: Dinh Thuong

 Things that I believe in

Last night the northern wind lingered outside the window

This morning, renanthera stretches out, radiant with spring buds

What brings such joy to the songs of birds!

Mother chants at the start of the year, evoking the cycle of reincarnation


In childhood, my mind had no room for mysteries

The way of thinking blends endlessly with the pink chorus

Worried moments linger on the concerns of the real world

The illusion that I can control all storms.


Leaving mother’s arms, I send myself to great loves

Down to the sea, up to the forest, longing for the homeland

When stumbled, I feel invisible hands reaching out to help

At the edge of the existing abyss, I hear immensely the heroic spirit of ancestors.


Nights patrolling at the border, the deep forest is so cold and windy

Beneath the late starlight, the green leaves resemble people’s eyes

In a moment of madness, suddenly heard the cheers of teammates

The group of three people feels as though we stand amidst a large army.


During the celebration, emotions find expression through songs

Every honor finds companionship and support from teammates now and then

If one foolishly or accidentally detaches oneself from cultural roots

What would people become, if not unconscionable?


Mother chants at the start of the year, I yearn to listen intently

To cleanse my soul, nurture spring feelings

What occurs in reincarnation is subject to people’s beliefs

Yet I persist in keeping my thoughts aligned with good citizenship


Vietnam-Poet-3Poet: Bui Thu Hang

Sulking with the grass

I lie down and listen to the moon stroll

Outside, the grass whispers words of love

Fresh green captivates the scene

While where I am, fate brings many hardships

The dew glistens with drops of grass


Each music tone hums, igniting passion in people’s souls

Sulking, I am sulking

I envy the grass beneath the vast sky

Enduring hardships, with ups and downs in the chilly cold

Yet remaining smooth and green under trampled shoes


The wind passing the grass is the gentle breeze

The sunshine drying on the grass turns gentle

Feeling sorry for someone who just confessed to the night

Looking at the grass in the morning, can I forget the sulking!


Tomorrow I’ll be far away

Tomorrow I’ll be far away

Trying to fix all the chaos

Narrow briefcase

Toilet paper, toothpaste, soap…

Let’s do it together


I flee from worries

Evading the pale months and indifferent days with sunset and dawn

Help me discard the drafts and friends quarreling into the trash

Guide faith through verses

Oh, precious time!

It’s like late at night when I’m defect


The sky tonight is the same as last night

The dewdrop tonight has yet to glisten on the damp grass

Not yet learning how to rejuvenate itself

The bed should cease its delusions

The sobs and emotions within me remain pure


The Ace of Hearts beats swiftly

An innocent beat

A girl’s beat

A women’s beat

Loving you is rooted in humanistic values


Tomorrow I’ll be far away…

When kissing, I dare not look deeply into your eyes

Fearful of sadness cascading down your cheeks

The tears of sorrow streaming down your cheeks!


Vietnam-Poet-4Poet: Minh Tri


An uneasy year has come to pass

The thorny grass ceases its weeping, and the flower grass sheds its sorrow

December is as a sail

The feelings of old times flowing down peacefully


Forget the sad eyes

Forget the ceaseless complaints of yore

Yet the garden still holds a solitary star

Pity for the fireflies lost in a dream


Pity for the weary wind

At the end of the day, it lays down amidst an unfinished game

Hearing a melody softly resounds

The call of the New Year filled the garden.


 Read: Missing Rhythm on the Way Home – Poetry from Vietnam







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