Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong

Gently Spring evening comes to the pavilion,
Unclouded in the least by worldly sins.
Three times the temple’s bell surges like a wave
Unsettling the puddle where sky and water mingle.
Truly the sea of Love cannot be emptied
And the stream of Grace flows easily everywhere.
Now, where, where is Nirvana?
Nirvana’s here, nine parts in ten.

“Spring Watching Pavilion” by Ho Xuan Huong
Translated by John Balaban

My body is like a jackfruit swinging on a tree
My skin is rough, my pulp is thick
Dear prince, if you want me pierce me upon your stick
Don’t squeeze, I’ll ooze and stain your hands.

“Jackfruit” by Ho Xuan Huong
Translated by Marilyn Chin

Image by Alena Sianko