Vietnam Poetry Day 2015

(VOVworld) – The 13th annual Vietnam Poetry Day was celebrated last week at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi with Vietnam’s sea and islands as its theme. The event drew 153 poets from 43 countries and territories.

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Vietnam Poetry Day was celebrated in more than 100 locations across Vietnam. At the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, it attracted 153 poets, translators and writers from 43 countries and territories. Poet Huu Thinh is President of the Vietnam Writers’ Association: “The participants are famous poets and writers. During their stay in Vietnam, they shared their poems and love for poetry with us. They praised Vietnamese people and their patriotism, heroism and soul. They shared their passion for Vietnam”.

Taking “Vietnam’s sea and islands” as  its theme, the event opened with the recital of poem “Homeland is the mother’s voice” by Nguyen Viet Chien. The poem describes Vietnamese people’s pride in their national tradition, culture, patriotism, and heroism as well as their awareness of territorial sovereignty and hope in the younger generation.

There were separate areas for Vietnamese and foreign poems. The event featured songs in between recitals of poems. Slovakian poet Neeva Mukova recited three poems in Vietnamese, and South African poet Indra Wossou, British poet Graham Mort, American poet Martha Collins and Mongolian poet Burne Sambun presented their new poems about Vietnam and introduced their countries’ literature to Vietnamese poetry lovers. Neeva Mukova said:“The atmosphere of Vietnam Poetry Day is very special and impressive. Foreign poets recited their works. I’m impressed with their presentations in their mother tongue because I can feel the tones of each language. I like Vietnamese poems so much that I’ve begun writing poems in Vietnamese”.

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The event created opportunities for Vietnamese and foreign poets to share their passion for poetry. It helped foreign poets better understand Vietnamese poetry and literature. Poet Gjeke Marinaj of the US said: "Vietnamese literature is very unique. It is different, I think, from other countries, because it has a sense of beauty. It is delicate. You can only see that there’s a kind of beauty in Vietnamese poetry: the metaphors, nature, people’s love with sentiment. These are all literal devices that make Vietnamese poetry unique from many other countries".
Despite language barriers, poetry connects people. For many foreign poets, Vietnam Poetry Day is a nice experience. Iraqi poet Naseer Flaiij Hassan said: "When I cane here, I saw a very beautiful country and very beautiful nature. The crowd of dancing is very amazing. And I found very friendly people here. For me, now I have many ideas about Vietnamese and Vietnam’s poetry. Now I know that poetry is important for Vietnamese people. When I go back, I’ll have so many books of Vietnam poetry. I’ll read them carefully because I love these people. I am interested in Vietnamese poetry".
Vietnam Poetry Day included an exhibit of Vietnamese literary works translated and published abroad, books from Vietnamese publishers and a display of poems from poetry 30 Hanoi’s poetry clubs. Writer Huu Thinh said: “We are integrating into the world, even the world’s culture. This is the time to export and promote our cultural values. We organized this event to promote Vietnamese culture. We need to do more because through culture, we can introduce Vietnam, its land and people to the world and learn more about the cultural values of other countries to further enrich our own culture”.

For the occasion, the Vietnam Writers’ Association published a poetry collection called “Peace Aspiration” comprised of 108 poems written by Vietnamese poets in the past 10 centuries. The poems are also in English helping foreign readers to better understand Vietnamese people’s aspiration for independence and peace.