Lâm Thị Mỹ Dạ


Country: Vietnam
Language(s): Vietnamese
Poem for the Year of the Buffalo

I was born in the year of the buffalo
A year that brings many troubles
A buffalo toils all year round
Works hard but never grumbles

When I was very small I walked
With my buffalo to the village fields
Green grass, high flying kites
Buffalo and I would daydream

There was so much wind
In the wide open fields
There was so much sun
Buffalo’s eyes would brim

“Don’t play music near a buffalo’s ear”-
Please don’t tell me that
If a buffalo looks, a buffalo knows
It doesn’t need to hear

I left home a long time ago
But when spring comes I go back
There I meet the black buffalo
Still attentive, innocent

The buffalo eats grass all day
Spring offers up grass again
Thanks to heaven for watching over
The buffalo’s youth, that never ends

Translated by Thúy Đinh and Martha Collins