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Xuan Hu'o'ng Ho

Ho Xuan Hu'o'ng (ca. 1775-ca. 1820) is one of Vietnam's most beloved poets. Her name means "Spring Essence" and she was a concubine (second wife) who wrote subtly risque poems that used double entendre and sexual innuendo as a vehicle for social, religious, and political commentary. Not much is factually known about her life and most of her biography is derived from her poems. Legend says that she sometimes ran a tea shop and was famous for her ability to compose perfectly structured poems off the top of her head. As such, she was often challenged by young men preparing for the imperial exams, and eventually married a student whose poem she considered "not bad."

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