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Vietnamese poetry reaches out to the world

Book “Su bat dau cua nuoc” by Vietnamese poet Tran Le Khanh has been now available in the US book market under the name of “The beginning of water”.

Vietnamese poetry reaches out to the world hinh anh 1

The bilingual Vietnamese - English book is a collection of Khanh’s short poems. (


The bilingual Vietnamese - English book is a collection of Khanh’s short poems. It was translated into English by US poet Bruce Weigl, who has strong links with Vietnamese authors, and is considered a bridge between Vietnamese and US literature.

The poems were issued in the US by White Pine, an independent literary publisher that has been publishing quality poetry and prose since 1974.

Khanh, born in 1971 in the northern province of Hoa Binh, currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City. Since 2016, he has published five books, and some of his poems have been adopted for music by composer Quoc Bao.

Before engaging in literature and art, he started the career as a financial analyst certificated by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (US) and the HCM City Economy University.

He focuses on two genres of poetry, free style and luc bat (six-eight-word distich metre, a traditional verse form in Vietnamese poetry).

According to Chairman of the Vietnam Writers’ AssociationNguyen Quang Thieu, he found fresh things and a different spirit in Khanh’s poetry.

Khanh follows minimalism with short sentences,Thieu said, adding his single words are like seeds growing in the souls of readers, small seeds that will turn into a big green tree.

Khanh’s poems are precise, giving clear images and messages with truthful emotion. And there is always a philosophy inside those words, said Thieu.

Khanh breathes a fresh air into Vietnamese literature, and his “su bat dau cua nuoc” fascinates readers in the US a lot. Earlier, most of the Vietnamese poems published in the US were about wars, and they were written by war veterans as a way to heal sorrows caused by conflicts between the two nations./. VNA

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