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Invitation to Friends
vuongthanh's translation of "Mời Bằng Hữu" by Poet Hà Thượng Nhân
-- Sharing Vietnamese Culture with the World --
Those two thousand years were like a lightning flash
Two thousand years ago, Christ was born
Christ endured being nailed on the cross
Pouring his blood to save mankind
Pouring his blood to pay for the world’s sins
Still, Sin spread everywhere
So many sea swept life-changing events, so much unhappiness
The teachings of Love still carry on in fatigued breath
The worries and concerns are still there
Still the rainy nights, the windy days
Still the bright sunshine, still death and life
Still young like the moon just rising
Still old, still sick, still desolate
Still the big question no one has an answer for
From where, have I arrived here like a wild blade of grass ?
A rush of wind blew the stars wildly about
Peace arises from the ceasing of soldiers’ fires
Where does the firing end ? Where does it arises ?
It arises from the human heart full of bitter hatred
It arises from the graves filled with withered grass
Time will erase all burnings and destructions
Starting afresh as in a new beginning
In the new millenium, how much more is there ?
Are there still any Tu Fu poets ?
Are there still any occassions of intoxicating drunkenness ?
Sleeping in the market, forgetting the months and days
How many thousand, how many million years already ?
Who sits meditating under the raining and windy sky
To find the voidness within things of substance
Knowing for the purpose of forgetting, remembering for the intention of forgetting
This self of mine is meaningless, and was without a name
“Standing inside Lô Sơn mountain, not knowing mountain”
Standing in the midst of Life, not knowing otherliness
Just see that yesterday and today is different
Not different than when wishing for a minute of delight
What minute of delight is better than the meeting of friends
Gazing into deep sea blue eyes with fond feelings
Just this very instant is truly real
Looking at the moon, suddenly wakened from a long dream
To find that a poet’s life is a life of intoxicating drunkenness
Drunken from the rays of sunshine on the willow tree
From the sounds of birds singing in the morning
From the dewdrops glistening on the purple Jacaranda flowers
From the letter with ink not yet dried
Cao Cao , illustrious in the history pages that have closed
Still fortunate to have left to posterity the poem “Short Song Style”
The millienium, is it new or old ?
Is the road near or is it still far ?
Let’s tap on the wine glass like that fellow :
That the moon and the wind of only mine
The cool wind on the river never stop blowing
The moon on the mountain top radiates its light wide and far
Everything is but transitory illusion
The true nature lies within oneself
Try reflecting the true nature into a wine cup
Welcome poet of times past, Su Shi
Welcome Li Bai . Welcome Friends
White clouds floating by, providing shade for the gathering of friends ...