The Asia Department of the US Congress’ Library, on December 2, introduced a poem collection entitled ‘Xuan Huong’ (Spring Essence) of Vietnamese renowned poet Ho Xuan Huong.
The collection, published by Copper Canyon Press Publisher and translated by English Professor and also amateur poet John Balaban, includes 49 poems in Nom scripts, the first time ancient Vietnamese script.
Translator Balaban and Asia Department expert Lien Huong introduced and read some poems with the background music of dan tranh (16 chord zither) played by Ms Ngo Thanh Nha, a linguist of the New York University. The department has 30 books in various languages about poet Ho Xuan Huong, including the Nom script version and a poem collection by Vietnamese great poet Nguyen Du.
Ho Xuan Huong is one of the most important poets in the history of Vietnam. Renowned for her risqué poems, she used double entendres as a vehicle for social and political commentary. Huong was a concubine who lived near the end of the 18th century, she is considered a national treasure of Vietnam.
Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper