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  • Cricket Song
  • Thi My Da Lam (bio)
    Translated by Martha Collins (bio) and Thuy Dinh (bio)

Lam Thi My Da was born in 1949 in Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province, in the central part of Viet Nam. She graduated from the Writers' College in Viet Nam in 1983 and received a certificate for advanced studies in literature at Moscow's Gorky University in 1988. She has worked as a reporter and a literary editor and serves as an executive board member of the Vietnamese Writers' Association and chairperson of the Thua Thien Hue Writers' Association. She has published five collections of poems in Viet Nam: Trai tim sinh no (The fertile heart, 1974), Bai tho khong nam thang (Poem without date, 1983), Hai tuoi em day tay (Gathering my years, 1990), Me va con (Mother and child, 1994), and De tang mot giac mo (Dedicated to a dream, 1998). Her prizes for poetry include two awards from the Vietnamese Writers' Association; for her 1998 book, she received highest honors from the National United Board of Vietnamese Literature and the Arts. She has also published three collections of stories for children and now lives and works in Hue, in central Viet Nam. The following poem is from Green Rice, a collection of her work translated into English.

Please let me go through life as a cricket Singing a tiny song in the tender grass Opening my eyes to shining dewdrops My words ringing like little bells Sunbeams gather bell-sounds in the grass I gather myself in my nest, waiting for night Guileless, I sing my timeless song Burrowing in my peaceful green carpet Don't capture me, don't capture me, my friend I don't want to be heroic, I don't want glory People have forced me to charge ahead In many mortal battles with countrymen [End Page 105] But I just want to bow my head I've won, but I'm full of wounds inside My friend there, broken foot, wasted body— My friend's wounds, my own wounds ooze Ignorant people cheered us on So please just let me be a cricket Singing nonsense words in the silent grass Watching stars as my song echoes through the field Drinking in the sweet sun like honey Please just let me be a cricket Lying down in the green cradle where I began On my dying day please let a single dewdrop Trickle into my soul as a kiss, a tear

Thi My Da Lam

Lam Thi My Da waorn in 1949 in Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province, in the central part of Viet Nam. She graduated from the Writers' College in Viet Nam in 1983 and received a certificate for advanced studies in literature at Moscow's Gorky University in 1988. She has worked as a reporter and a literary editor and serves as an executive board member of the Vietnamese Writers' Association and chairperson of the Thua Thien Hue Writers' Association. She has published five collections of poems in Viet Nam: Trai tim sinh no (The fertile heart, 1974), Bai tho khong nam thang (Poem without date, 1983), Hai tuoi em day tay (Gathering my years, 1990), Me va con (Mother and child, 1994), and De tang mot giac mo (Dedicated to a dream, 1998). Her prizes for poetry include two awards from the Vietnamese Writers' Association; for her 1998 book, she received highest honors from the National United Board of Vietnamese Literature and the Arts. She has also published three collections of stories for children and now lives and works in Hue, in central Viet Nam. The following poem is from Green Rice, a collection of her work translated into English.

Martha Collins

Martha Collins has published four books of poems, the most recent of which is Some Things Words Can Do. She cotranslated with the author a collection of poems, The Women Carry River Water, by Vietnamese writer Nguyen Quang Thieu. She teaches at Oberlin College.

Thuy Dinh

Thuy Dinh is a writer and attorney living in the Washington, D.C., area. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the anthology Once Upon a Dream: Twenty Years of Vietnamese-American Experience...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-943x
Print ISSN
1045-7909
Pages
pp. 105-106
Launched on MUSE
2006-08-03
Open Access
No
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