TO TRÚC LANG, MY FRIEND
You and I became friends of youth in the prime
With Ho Dinh Phuong and others, merry to rhyme.
When our country in peril the enemy tried to immerse,
We only had our Whole Heart with valiant verse.
As wartime young men each had with his own to deal
But finally could not turn back the History’s wheel.
Who got defeated? Who on the ocean met with fate?
Who stayed home? Who fled abroad? A stalemate!
We in exile are homesick, thinking of our old land,
Having faith in a better Future, we pocket our brand.
With paintings million styles, poetry thousand tunes,
Instead of firearms you embellish life with festoons.
I esteem you, an artist with a versatile talent;
Even if ailing or destitute, you are an inspired gallant.
You tirelessly create for the True, Good, Beautiful:
Gold or brass, a certain souvenir to Life is your pull.
Reading your works I remember Han Mac Tu much,
Sense of Bich Khe some tone, of Nguyen Sa a touch.
Wow! since you have energy, travel freely you can:
Though opinions differ, they are in this Place of Man.
I appreciate your loyalty, devotion to Letters and Arts.
Um! in our existence what is nobler than deep hearts?
In the stream of life still struggling for fair and fine
Truc Lang alone appears imposingly in his own line.
English version by THANH-THANH