Thứ Bảy, 27 tháng 6, 2015

Vietnamese Poetry - Day 1 - Oral poetry tradition.

Even though poetry and literature is not my expertise, but inspired by Minh Khai Mai-Thi and her interest in Vietnamese poetry, I spend the last week of June to study about Vietnamese poetry and want to introduce some of my favorite poems.
DAY 1: The Vietnamese oral poetry tradition.

“The oral poetry tradition is purely native. Older even than the linguistic separation of the Muong and Vietnamese languages 1,000 years ago, the oral poetry tradition probably has its origins in the agrarian prayers common to the prehistory of the Mon-Khmer language family. The oral poetry, still sung today in the countryside, remains a strong influence.” (John Balaban)

One of the folk poetry that most of Vietnamese know by heart and can recite precisely the first six lines is the following poem.

Tát Nước Đầu Đình
"Hôm qua tát nước đầu đình
Bỏ quên cái áo trên cành hoa sen
Em được thì cho anh xin
Hay là em để làm tin trong nhà?
Áo anh sứt chỉ đường tà
Vợ anh chưa có, mẹ già chưa khâu.
Áo anh sứt chỉ đã lâu
Mai mượn cô ấy về khâu cho cùng
Khâu rồi anh sẽ trả công
Ít nữa lấy chồng anh lại giúp cho
Giúp em một thúng xôi vò
Một con lợn béo một vò rượu tăm
Giúp em đôi chiếu em nằm
Đôi chăn em đắp, đôi trằm em đeo
Giúp em quan tám tiền cheo
Quan năm tiền cưới lại đèo buồng cau."

I grew up with this poem which was in the form of a song sung by my mother. I found a nice translation version of the poem online (

Water Fetching
"Last night when fetching water
I left my shirt on a lotus flower
If you should find it, please return
Unless you make it your concern
My shirt, it has a tear
For lack of wife, or mother to repair
My shirt, still torn, and still I wear
Would that I find someone who cares
Repay the debt, on this I swear
That when she marries I will send
To help her with a ton of sweet rice
With suckling pig, and jugs of wine
To help her get to bed and then
with coverlets for her body,
and jewels for her hair
I’ll help her with her dowry fare
With wedding costs, areca nuts and betel ware."

Không có nhận xét nào:

Đăng nhận xét