An Anthology of Vietnamese Poems


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From the Eleventh through the Twentieth Centuries

Edited and translated by Hùynh Sanh Thông

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This superb anthology brings together a thousand years of Vietnamese poems for the English-speaking world. Huynh Sanh Th“ng, widely regarded as the preeminent translator of the poetry of Vietnam, here presents more than three hundred poems by 150 poets, some celebrated, some obscure. Many of the poems are not otherwise available in English.  
The author's historical and critical introduction to Vietnamese poetry, and his abundant explanatory notes throughout the collection, assist readers in understanding and appreciating each work. Huynh observes that Vietnamese people in all walks of life compose, read, and listen to poetry; this collection of poems thus reveals much about Vietnamese language, literature, history, and culture. He has organized the poems—which range from ancient to very recent works—around nine main themes that include Vietnamese views of society, responses to foreign influences, and feelings about such universal questions as relationships between men and women, the role of art in life, and conflicts among social classes. A generous selection of twentieth-century poems represents the work of well-known poets, major political figures, and men and women of the Vietnamese diaspora after the Communist victory in 1975. 

Huynh Sanh Thông's professional translations include the long narrative poem The Tale of Kieu, also published by Yale University Press. For his efforts to keep alive the literary and poetic traditions of the Vietnamese people, he won a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1987.

"Huynh Sanh Thông is the outstanding translator of Vietnamese literature, into any Western language, anywhere in the world. It's a windfall and a godsend for English speakers that he happens to work in English—and what English! Lucid, supple, never pretentious or contrived in any way, and on many occasions witty. The translations in this new book are—as one would expect—definitive and impeccable."—Alexander Woodside, University of British Columbia

"This is a generous appreciation of Vietnamese poetry and poetics from the past thousand years. . . . Historiographers and literary enthusiasts alike will welcome the inclusiveness, incisive annotations, and simple bravura poetic overview of this necessary anthology."—Choice

"[Huynh Sanh Thông] provides the English reader with another superb collection of Vietnamese verse—322 works by some 150 Vietnamese poets. . . . Truly a rare compendium of Vietnamese poetry and will be much in demand for use in college courses on Vietnamese history and culture."—Dinh-Hoa Nguyen, World Literature Today

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1987)
ISBN: 9780300064100
Publication Date: March 27, 1996
444 pages, 5 1/8 x 9 1/4
The Tale of Kieu

A Bilingual Edition of Nguyen Du's Truyen Kieu

Translated by Huynh Sanh Thong; With an Historical Essay by

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