Poem by Jacques Nguyen Hieu Liem

Introduced by Thomas D. Le

What is love? Liem asks.

Then he proceeds to say he does not know! Just like that. That leaves you and me to scramble for an answer as best we can. Unfortunately, just as our psychiatrist friend, we are stumped and clueless. If there is someone out there who has the answer, do not hesitate to share it with all of us.

The only redemptive note in all this enigma is Liem's affirmation that once the man and his woman get together, he knows what love is, in the image of his sweetheart.


Tu me dis : "L'Amour, qu'est-ce que c'est ?"
Je réponds : "Est-ce que je le sais ?
Au fond, l'Amour, c'est... mais vois-tu,
Je ne le sais pas non plus...
Pourtant, quand nous sommes ensemble,
Je le sais, car Tu LUI ressembles."

Jacques Nguyen Hieu Liem
5 Février 2002


Em ho?i anh : "Thê' nào là Yêu nhi??"
Anh tra? lò'i : "Nào anh có biê't ðâu?
Thâ.t ra, Tình Yêu. Em cha?ng thâ'y sao
Anh cu~ng cha?ng biê't thê' nào mà nói.
Anh chi? biê't khi chúng mình gâ`n gu~i
Em ðã cho anh hiê?u nghi~a Tình Yêu."

Traduit par Lý Lãng Nhân

29 Août 2002


You asked me once, "Love. What is it?"
I said, "How will I ever know?
Love is, I think, you see... not it.
Nor can I be sure love is so.
Yet when we are close for a bit
You look like IT, and that I know."

Translated by Thomas D. Le

17 August 2002

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