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:
On Sharing A Husband
Screw the fate that makes you share a man. One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other's cold.
A gentle spring evening arrives airily, unclouded by worldly dust.
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.
Day and Night
Peekaboo we used to play; my hands covered my face, your hands covered your face, incredible, there we were gone.
Are you seventeen or eighteen?(1) Let me cherish you by all means. Thin or thick you display a triangle, and
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.
Day Sleeping Girl
Summer breeze is sporadically blowing, Lying down the young girl slides into sleeping. Her bamboo comb loosely attached to her hair,
Her lonely boat fated to float aimlessly midstream, weary with sadness, drifting.
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,
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
Weaving at Night
Lampwick turned up, the room glows white. The looms moves easily all night long as feet work and push below.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
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