Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Every Day I Would Go"

Every day I would go to the tea shop
At a time when it is almost deserted
I would pick a table in the innermost corner
Where I could sit by myself reading the paper and brewing
I don’t give too much attention to the news
As I flip over the pages then leave the paper alone
I would sit back almost as a manner of relaxation
Not letting my mind be burdened by any thought
Out of habit I would smoke but hardly feel the taste
Only sighing quietly from time to time
Or shaking my head in an attempt to shake away
The images blurred and rather melancholic
Of a meaningless life, almost thrown away.

The poem above is Nguyen Chi Thien's "Every Day I Would Go" (1958), from his collection Flowers from Hell (1984). The translation is by Nguyen Ngoc Bich.

Nguyen Chi Thien was born in 1939, in the North Vietnamese city of Hanoi. He passed away last month in Santa Ana, California.

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