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24Oct/081

Quang Le – Suong Trang Mien Que Ngoai

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Composer: Dinh Mien Vu
English Title: White Dew in Motherland
Translated By: Gigi

At night, I paddle across muddy swamps, with mud clinging onto my body.
Drops of white dew fall onto my shoulders, softening them with the coldness.
Birds weep across the land, calling each other to fly towards where?
Speechless, a group of gibbons also call out to each other.

Every time I hold the gun close to my chest until my hands become numb,
With sunken eyes following the infinite illusions, I let out a long sigh.
In a faraway land, my mother carries the burden on her shoulders,
While you are illuminating, like a bright lantern shining within tomorrow's dew.

Mother, I wonder if you know that I'm sitting in my own grave right now? (1)
The wind promises, the rain vows, and once I return to motherland,
Just so my mother can send a message asking about my condition.
That one road in our old village during the old years, when I was still small
I followed my mother to school, and now, that old road is still there,
With strands of willow trees dancing in the wind to a sad lullaby.

I'm busy with military operations, so it might be hard to visit each other.
But we still have each other like we have our very first breath entering life.
Your hair still has the sweet scent of the sky-high grass.
Allow me to tell you my plans for our future.

My friends left following the layers of the years.
I heard that a few of my close friends sometimes never return.
Please let me have you continue praying for my life.
Rocks are soft, but our feet are hard, so my mother still has a future. (2)

Translator's Notes:
(1) What this means is that he feels like he's waiting to die in the battlefield, and that everywhere he sits is like his own grave. He doesn't know whether or not he can survive.
(2) What this means is that rocks are soft in the sense that if you hit them hard enough, they break. But with our feet, if we have a strong footing, we won't trip over as easily. And if we do fall or trip, we can still stand up. His mother still having a future implies that the country still has a future.

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  1. Great translation. I reblogged at my blogspot. But credited to you :)


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