summer :: xuân quỳnh

Translated by Carolyn Forche and Nguyen Ba Chung

It’s the season of birdsong.
The sky is deep blue, sunlight is everywhere.
The soil climbs the tree; the sap tends the fruits.
Man’s footsteps break new paths.

It’s the season in which nothing can hide.
The whole world is dressed in light.
The sea aqua, the white sails full.
And bitterness turns into poetry.

It’s the season of hopes and dreams,
Of man’s ancient and innumerable cravings.
Winds turn to storms, rains into rivers and seas.
A simple glance might light the spark of love.

It’s the season of twilights.
The paper kite parts the high open sky,
The crickets stay awake in the warm night singing,
The moor hen breaks the noon’s silence.

O summer, have you gone?
O desires of youth, are you here or not?
The earth still holds the deep blue of the sea,
And the sweet fruit, the faint color of blossoms.