A Farewell to My Child

<The Tender Inner World of a Saintly Poet>

(Originally in Aulacese:"Tiễn Con Ngàn Dặm")

My child, just follow the others;
I can neither laugh nor cry at this moment!
Night after night trails of tears have fallen,
Missing you and our bygone heaven!

You're like a leaf drifting in the wind,
Floating on the river of life to different shores,
I pray to God for your safety,
Dare not dream of our reunion one day!

You've gone to the end of the horizon,
The world is vast, who knows if a return is ever to come?
In the heart of a stormy ocean,
I wonder what the tiny sea shell longs for?

Just try and smile, my child,
Dry your woeful tears and go with the others.
Tragedy has befallen you at a tender age,
This life is such, who’d dare to reincarnate!

*This poem describes the sorrow of an Aulacese mother, who in wartime was forced to send her child off across the ocean along with other evacuees in search for safety.
*This touching poem was composed and recited by Master in Aulacese. Her beautiful and melodious voice was recorded in the CD album Traces of Previous Lives I, track 3.

Composing poems like writing diary,
She writes whatever comes to mind.

Also introducing the luc bat (six-eight)
Aulacese rhyme pattern

     The essence of humanity is in each of Supreme Master Ching Hai's poems. No doubt it is Supreme Master Ching Hai's very human, very honest and simple approach that is the foundation of Her poetry.

     Indeed, Supreme Master Ching Hai writes Her poems just like people write their diary. She writes whatever comes to mind, the verse and the thought arriving at the same moment, without need for polishing. Rhyming and other elements sometimes are just secondary. Supreme Master Ching Hai's poetry flows naturally in a very relaxed way, with no hidden meaning, for there is nothing to conceal. The luc bat (six-eight) verse form (which consists of multiple pairs of a six-word line followed by an eight-word line) in Supreme Master Ching Hai's compositions are as graceful and simple as those of Nguyen Binh, but are more refined and use more Buddhist terms and imagery.

~Thu Phong, Aulacese poet (originally in Aulacese,
excerpted from Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazine #78)

     Thanks to the special arrangement of Master who sent Aulacese translators to help this year, a new approach to translating Master's poetry into Chinese has been adopted. It was based on finding and using Chinese wordscorresponding to Aulacese expressions, thus replacing the previous method of translating from English text. This has made it possible to retain as much as possible the original features of Her poetry. For verses which Master wrote in Her native language, with such a perfect structure and a truly unique rhyme scheme, the poems shine with implicit and delicate feelings characteristic of the way of the East. The richness of vocabulary and imagery also shows Her mastery of the art of poetry. In modern time, there are still many outstanding Aulacese poets who could write poetry in Han and Tang fashions. Master has recited some of their beautiful works and She Herself is the very best among those poets. Master's attention to and development of classical poetry are well respected by professional poets and poetry lovers alike. With a flexible and skillful use of contrasting tones and rhymes, Master often uses rhymes of varied patterns. Previously in the Chinese edition of Wu Tzu Poems, an introduction to Aulacese rhyme patterns was included. In Traces of Previous Lives, there are several poems that use the rhyme pattern of a combination of six and eight syllables. "A Fareware to My Child" is an example with the rhyme being embedded in the sixth syllable.
(For example, in the third stanza, the word "mây" at the end of the six-syllable line rhymes with the sixth syllable "ngày" in the next line of eight syllables. In addition, the last syllable of that same line "huong" rhymes with the last syllable of the next line "duong":

Con về ngàn dặm chân mây
Mênh mông ai biết có ngày hồi hương?
Trong lòng sóng gió đại dương
Hỏi con ốc nhỏ nhớ thương những gì…)
It is lively and rhythmic. In Her early years, Master liked to use this kind of rhyme patterns.

~ The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association
Chinese TranslationTeam (originally in Chinese)

     "The poetry of any nationality is forged by the thoughts, feelings and wisdom of its people. It is a language of the soul, an international language that soul can touch and feel and that can communicate between different peoples. There is no power whatsoever that can block the exchange and communication between souls. Reading and studying poetry can stimulate the growth of wisdom and open up one's heart.… It is imperative to adopt an in-depth and meticulous method to translate poetry from one language to the other. It is also imperative to use fine and well-considered feelings and wisdom to make choices on vocabulary and style. What is even more important is to preserve the language style of the original poem, because this shows respect to its original author."

~ Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
(Princess Sirindhorn has translated Chinese Tang poetry into Thai.
Her quotes are from website: http://www.thaiwind.net/magazine/especially/017.htm.)

The Prince
The Peace Seeker
A Touch of Fragrance
An Unexpected Day
Forever Still
Faded Love
A Farewell to My Child
Silent Love
Dream in the Night
There Were Disappointing Times
Since We Knew Each Other