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A royal window and a poetess

Confucianism holds that writing about one’s intimate feelings in the first person is indecent.
For this reason, the doctrine often constricted and rendered impersonal the lyrical expression of classical Vietnamese literature set down in Chinese han or Vietnamese nom ideograms.
Ai Tu Van (Cries and Regrets), a long poem by Princess (1770-1799), is one of the rare jewels that is an exception.
Han was the daughter of King Hien Tong of the late Le Dynasty (15th - 18th century).
When she was sixteen years old, she got married with King Quang Trung, the head of a victorious peasant insurrection, founder of the Tày Son dynasty land victor against a Sino-Mongol invasion by the Qing.
After the premature death of her illustrious husband in 1792, she com-posed Ai Tu Van in nom ideograms.
The work is composed of many stanzas, each with a couplet of seven and seven syllables followed by a couplet of six and eight syllables. It tells of the pain of a wife losing her husband, a lover crying over her beloved and a subject mourning her king.
Below is an extract:
In the room the wind spreads its chill,
Under the verandah the orchids wither 
Smoke covers the tomb of the deceased 
No longer seen is the royal carriage
I stay alone weeping by myself 
Heaven, why break our union?
How to tell of my sadness and pain 
Deep as the sea 
Immense as the sky.
In the West sails go in all directions 
Far away I see only sky and water 
To the West
Trees and mountains spread infinitely 
To the South wild geese fly past
To the North, the fog as white as a shroud covering the forests, 
I have in vain scanned the four horizons 
The sky is an abyss, where to find him?
The more I search the longer is the seperation 
My pain, there beyond, has it an echo?
Sadly I watch the blurring moon
A sail has recovered its silver light
I am ashamed, seeing my face again in the mirror
O my love, I wander alone on the deserted bank 
All the flowers ,alas, bring back to me my distress
My heart is torn as I look at a bird 
The pigeon flies looking for her companion,
Each landscape bears its own sadness 
Where have the festivities of the old days gone?
A moment is enough. The world is upset
Thus flows life. Alas, who is there to complain to?
Love, fidelity as great as the sky and earth.
And my torment grows with each day
To whom, then, to confide my sorrows and pain?
May the sun and the moon witness to me!
Come to discovering Vietnamese Literary storage after Trip to Thailand and Cambodia.
Or if you want to travel to Vietnam this summer, the site below will help you:
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Update : 04-08-2017

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