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Spring Essence
Xuan Hu'o'ng Ho
$15.00 paperback
Out of stock
Spring Essence
The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong, Translated by John Balaban
Xuan Hu'o'ng Ho

John Balaban, an accomplished poet, has translated the poems of Ho Xuan Huong, an eighteenth century Vietnamese concubine who wrote subtly risque poems as a vehicle for social criticism and commentary. Ho Xuan Huong, whose name means "Spring Essence," used her literary talent to defy the conventions of her time. This book has received wide-ranging attention, including a citation by President Clinton during a state dinner in Vietnam.

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For Spring Essence, Xuan Hu'o'ng Ho

"It's not every day that a poet gets to save a language, although some might argue that is precisely the point of poetry."—

"Move over, Sappho and Emily Dickinson."—Providence Sunday Journal

"Sometimes books really do change the world... This one will set in motion a project that may transform Vietnamese culture."—The Utne Reader

"In the simple landscape of daily objects–jackfruit, river snails, a loom, a chess set, and perhaps most famously a paper fan—Ho found metaphors for sex, which turned into trenchant indictments of the plight of women and the arrogance, hypocrisy and corruption of men... Balaban's deft translations are a beautiful and significant contribution to the West's growing awareness of Vietnam's splendid literary heritage."—The New York Times Book Review

"Even though she is so far removed from us in space, time and culture, her poems speak to our basic human natures, giving us as much pleasure as they surely did her contemporaries."—Netsurfer Digest

"This woman's words, written so long ago and in a far-off place, speak to me clearly, ironically, and personally."—Caroline S. Close, from a "Reader Comment" card

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