Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Vietnam"

Sage on the Mountain

In “Sage on the Mountain,” Vietnamese writer Đỗ Bích Thúy reveals the little-seen world of a Tay ethnic minority village in the northern province of Ha Giang near the Chinese border.  The protagonist, Dzin, has returned to visit her aged mother, a war widow who feels caught between the old ways and the new.  Ma and my nephew, Sinh, met me at the fork where the trail turned up the slope that led to the house on stilts. It perched...

from “Ru”

I came into the world early in the Year of the Monkey, during the Tet Offensive, when long strings of fireworks hanging from the houses exploded in polyphony with the sound of machine guns. Saigon was my birthplace, and thousands of bits of old firecrackers covered the soil in red as if they were petals from a cherry tree, or the blood of two million soldiers, scattered through the towns and villages of a Vietnam torn in two. I was born in the shadows of skies embroidered with...

Chinese


Vietnamese


Hai Phong

Yellow lamps, prostitutes' eyes Lines of sad provincial poems On a farewell afternoon, yellow leaves are falling Ocean winds have no ports or borders Ocean clouds go their own way Like dates, the harbors have no names In the Lap River the tide rises Fishing boats go and come Someone waits at the Binh ferry for someone A smile is blurred by cement-plant smoke The people of Hai Phong are like sea-wind and sun Off they go, with the dawn Their footprints cover the...

From behind a Closed Window

Is there, out there, a sky Sunny or windy or humid with autumn A sky at dawn, or a sunset sky? Are there, out there, human faces Strange or familiar Happy or hurting Friendly faces, or faces like beasts'? Is there, out there, a nothingness With no future, and no past? Was it I who drew the curtains across the window? Is there, out there, dark earth That buries all flesh that once was beauty That buries all glances, all shut lips? Is there only this place?...

The Utopian

I will find myself in a mirror My name in a line of poetry My destiny in a person I've never met Once I lay in the sun by the Caspian Sea Listening to songs of seaweed and foam A sleepwalker with nothing to lose or gain In that Khuong Co land, the sun set under my feet Now I raise my eyes Dim with the red dust of time Or is it the dust of remembered mountains? Invisible candles shine in the night There is hope in every moment In the crossroads of my window...

Camel’s Eye

Note: The narrator is a South Korean soldier who has just returned from the war in Vietnam by ship and is waiting on the dock to be transported home by train. At the urging of a young sergeant who once served in his platoon, the two men decide to sneak out for a night on the town. "Please, can I have a look, Commander?" "At what?" "You said you'd brought back something special." I pulled the clear plastic pouch out of my shirt pocket. I removed the two hook-shaped objects from...

Passage of Eden

The old man was standing cautiously behind the table on which he displayed the treasures of the passage's bookshop: used English paperbacks, bound photocopies, ancient and incomplete collections of newspapers. He might have been seventy, maybe more. Above his balding head dangled a sign that said "Au Singe Vert, passage de l'Eden." I opened books at random, leafing through the pages without reading, careful not to tear the brittle paper. "Do you have a map of Saigon, I mean from...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.