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Author Topic: Folk Poetry  (Read 3234 times)

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Offline gaden

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Folk Poetry
« on: March 23, 2017, 08:28:45 PM »
Some poems from the book Ca Dao Việt Nam (Vietnamese Folk Poertry) translated by John Balaban



The Second Wife

The breeze stirs stirs banana leaves behind the house
You're crazy about your second wife and neglect our children
The children--well, with one each arm
How should I draw the water or rinse the rice?



Gió đưa bụi chuối sau hè
Anh mơ vợ bé bỏ bè con thơ
Con thơ tay ẫm, tay bồng
Tay nào xách nước, tay nào vo cơm

Offline gaden

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Re: Folk Poetry
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 08:41:30 PM »
John Balaban realizes that there is some thing that'slost in translation, especially translating from Vietnamese,because Vietnamese poems have tones which runs in rhythms and rhymes like a rap song. 


My translation would be:

The wind ruffles the banana leaves in the patio
You dream of your mistress while forsaking the children
I have one child in one arm, and another in the other
Which arm carries the water, which arm rinse the rice

Offline gaden

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Re: Folk Poetry
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 09:03:01 PM »
Linked Verses

The wind plays with the moon;  the moon plays with the wind
The moon sets, who does the wind play with?

The wind plays, plays with the moonflower
The bud is yours, but the blossom is mine

The wind plays through watercress and chives
A pity that you have a mother, but no father

The wind play. How can one please a friend's heart?
The Milky Way is shallow in places, in some places, deep.



Gió đưa trăng thì trăng đưa gió
Trăng lặn rồi gió biết đưa ai?

Gió đưa.  Gió đẩy bông trăng
Bông búp về nàng;  bông nở về anh

Gió đẩy dưa rau đưa lá hẹ
Cảm thương nàng có mẹ không cha

Gió đẩy đưa sao vừa lòng bạn
Sông Ngân Hà khúc cạn khúc sâu

Offline gaden

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Re: Folk Poetry
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 09:53:56 PM »
Linked Verses

The wind plays with the moon;  the moon plays with the wind
The moon sets, who does the wind play with?

The wind plays, plays with the moonflower
The bud is yours, but the blossom is mine

The wind plays through watercress and chives
A pity that you have a mother, but no father

The wind play. How can one please a friend's heart?
The Milky Way is shallow in places, in some places, deep.


This is a complex little poem.  I believe it means that the girl is going through life with no direction since she doesn't have a a father or head of household to guide her or give her security.  The wind here means her soul or curiosity checking in on the nuances of life. 

She plays with the moon.  The moon is a wise sage or deity that you look up to, maybe an elderly or the world or society.  When the moon goes away, you've lost that connection or security. 

She plays with the moon flower. The moonflower represents love.  She receives a flower bud which means innocence.  He receives an flower blossom which means innocence lost.

She prepares the watercress and chives, meaning cooking for family?  Then the poems gets real revealing that she doesn't have a father.

She can go through life as is said with playing, but does there is no satisfaction or no direction to her quest.  The river of life (Milky Way) is an endless place to search for an answer.

Offline Guess

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Re: Folk Poetry
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 04:17:53 AM »
2ND POEM. WOW, that poem has a sad tone. I think your intepretation is on point. You do loose a lot in translation, for linguistic and  cultural details. Even in vnmese i didnt really understand it.

The first poem, ive heard a different last line 'tay dat me chong, dau doi non bong'. One hand hold mother in law. I wear bong hat.

 
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