Silence (38) - Tĩnh lặng (38). Mai Văn Phấn. Explicated by Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya - bình chú. Traduction française Dominique de Miscault – Dịch sang tiếng Pháp. Takya Đỗ dịch sang tiếng Việt

Silence (38) by Mai Văn Phấn

Explicated by Dr. Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya
Translated into French by Dominique de Miscault

Translated into Vietnamese by Takya Đỗ

Tác phẩm của HS. Dominique de Miscault




I am vegetation

Light from my previous life

Draws on a white canvas


My body is immobilized

In a group of sheaths

Waiting for roots to penetrate from either side


Once withering

Once thriving

Both are common experiences in this light.

Translated from Vietnamese by Nhat-Lang Le & Susan Blanshard)




It is true that a poet is an ordinary man like us. And yet he is a little different. His imagination can rid him of egocentrism and material considerations. A poet seldom looks forward to his material prosperity. His sympathies embrace things that we common men can seldom reach. May be when a tree is hurt by an woodcutter one may espy a wound in the body of the poet himself. The ideal poet is a yogi whose consciousness transcends his own body and self. Our Mai Van Phan is a poet of that kind. And hence he can all on a sudden exclaim in trance - I am vegetation. Vegetation implies all the plants in a particular area or plants on the earth At the same time  vegetation means the action or process of vegetating or growing sprout. How do the plants sprout? They sprout from the seed. What is a seed? It is largely the tendencies the thirsts and actions of an earlier birth condensed. A particular tree is born, grows and dies. But there is something indeterminate in every tree which does not die. It is the resultant of karma of the plant during its lifetime. Karma is the energy that lingers in the form of a seed even when the plant is dead. The resultant of one’s appears as the seed. We are the heirs of our karma in the earlier life. From the seed only or the karma of the earlier life another plant springs. The origin and the course of the newly born plant is determined by the actions and intention of the earlier plant that bore the seed. So on a plane particular plants are not real. But vegetation is real and the poet identifies himself with vegetation. In  other words the poet is not only identified with the plant life, he is identified with the process of how the plant life flows on earth. The seed of everything in the existence is Buddha nature on another plane. Buddha nature is the material of the existence – the canvass. Our thoughts and actions in any lifetime is also Buddha nature at heart. So the seed of a particular life is also Buddha nature. And from a yogi poet’s perspective it is Buddha nature only that forges the differences on the canvas of Buddha nature. And Buddha nature is all light sans any trace of darkness in it. So being identified with vegetation the poet realizes that vegetation is but a flow of light from one birth to another birth drawn on a white canvas. This is a world view perceived only by yogis and poets. While the poet is spiritually one with the vegetation the physical body of the poet is immobilized in the zendo. His body is not made of one sheath. According to Indian philosophy a body consists of five sheaths. On the surface there is the body made of flesh and blood. Below that there is the body made of vital air. Below that there is the mental body. Deeper than that there is the body of awareness and knowledge. Below that there is the body of bliss. Perhaps the last one could be described as the body which is Buddha nature. All these five sheaths of the poet’s body in the contingent vegetates. While he is bodily immobilized here in the zendo he is fully awake and alive in the plants there in the wilderness and gardens. Being one with the plant life the poet experiences now withering and now thriving. Withering could be death and thriving could  imply life. Thus the poet discovers himself as a journeyman passing through life and death and life again. He realizes what rebirth is and shares the truth of rebirth with his fellow readers.

Explication par Dr. 
Ramesh Chandra Mukhopadhyaya

Traduction française Dominique de Miscault

Sự run rảy của cuộc sống - Dominique de Miscault



Je suis Végétation

lumière de ma vie antérieure

sur une toile vierge


Je suis immobile

dans un tas de gaines

aspirant à la germination


Un jour aride

un jour épanoui