Ho Xuan Huong
Hồ Xuân Hương was a Vietnamese poet born at the end of the Lê Dynasty who grew up in an era of political and social turmoil: the time of the Tây Sơn rebellion and the reactionary rule of Nguyễn Ánh. She wrote poetry using the Chữ nôm script. She is considered one of Vietnam's greatest poets, such that she is dubbed "the Queen of Nôm poetry" by Xuân Diệu, a prominent, modern Vietnamese poet.
The facts of her life are difficult to verify but this much is well established. She was born in Nghệ An province near the end of the rule of the Trịnh Lords, and she moved to Hanoi while still a child. The best guess is that she was the youngest daughter of Ho Phi ... more »
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Ho Xuan Huong Poems
I am like a jackfruit on the tree. To taste you must plug me quick, while fresh: the skin rough, the pulp thick, yes, but oh, I warn you against touching --
Drop by drop rain slaps the banana leaves. Praise whoever sketched this desolate scene:
A gentle spring evening arrives airily, unclouded by worldly dust.
On Sharing A Husband
Screw the fate that makes you share a man. One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other's cold.
Are you seventeen or eighteen?(1) Let me cherish you by all means. Thin or thick you display a triangle, and
Day and Night
Peekaboo we used to play; my hands covered my face, your hands covered your face, incredible, there we were gone.
Day Sleeping Girl
Summer breeze is sporadically blowing, Lying down the young girl slides into sleeping. Her bamboo comb loosely attached to her hair,
If you want to pick flowers, you have to hike. Climbing up, don't worry about your weary bones. Pluck the low branches, pull down the high.
To A Couple Of Students Who Were Teasing...
Where are you going, my dear little greenhorns? Here, I'll teach you how to turn a verse or two Young drones sucking at withered flowers,
Her lonely boat fated to float aimlessly midstream, weary with sadness, drifting.
The Cake That Drifts In Water
My body is both white and round. In water I may sink or swim. The hand the kneads me may be rough, But I still shall keep my true-red heart.
A cliff face. Another. And still a third. Who was so skilled to carve this craggy scene:
Praise whoever raised these poles for some to swing while others watch.
Viewing Cac-Co Cavern
Heaven and earth brought forth this rocky mass its face cut by a deep crevasse
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
I am like a jackfruit on the tree.
To taste you must plug me quick, while fresh:
the skin rough, the pulp thick, yes,
but oh, I warn you against touching --
the rich juice will gush and stain your hands
Translated by Nguyen Ngoc Bich