Art is the proper task of life

{May 16, 2008}   Three Mountain Pass

By Hô Xuân Hu’o’ng

A cliff face. Another. And still a third.
Who was so skilled to carve this craggy scene

The cavern’s red door, the ridge’s narrow cleft,
The black knoll bearded with little mosses?

A twisting pine bough plunges in the wind,
Showering a willow’s leaves with glistening drops.
Gentlemen, lords, who could refuse, though weary
And shaky in his knees, to mount once more?

Translated from Vietnamese by John Balaban


et cetera