|Poets and poetry lovers go to the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi to join the 13th National Poetry Day. The festival features the best works on patriotism. – VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
HA NOI (VNS) — The drizzly rain couldn't wash away the enthusiasm of visitors to the 13th National Poetry Day held yesterday at the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi.
This year, the festival was more crowded than ever and welcomed the participation of 150 international authors, who also attended the Asian Pacific Poetry Festival and the Conference to Introduce Vietnamese Literature several days ago. Poetry lovers of all ages were eager to listen to recitals by domestic and foreign poets.
"Thirty selected poets from Viet Nam and other countries recited their best works," said Nguyen Quang Thieu, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Writers' Association, the festival's organiser.
"We set up two stages for veteran and young poets to present their works in previous years, but this year we didn't separate them by age. All the poets gathered for exchanges between Viet Nam and the world."
"Through poetry, we express a desire for peace and friendship," Thieu said.
The theme of the festival was "Heading to the Country's Sea and Islands", so Vietnamese poets chose to present patriotic works.
State leader meets foreign writers, poets, translators
HA NOI – President Truong Tan Sang met with more than 150 poets, writers, and translators from more than 40 countries and territories who were in Ha Noi yesterday for the Asian-Pacific Poetry Festival.
President Sang said Viet Nam's long-standing culture, a mosaic of 54 ethnic groups' identities, creates power behind its people's victories over foreign invaders.
The leader described foreign writers, poets and translators at the Ha Noi-based literary events as cultural ambassadors who could assist Viet Nam in cementing its friendship with people around the world.
He added that their presence in Viet Nam is an opportunity for his country to share its cultural values and help the international community learn more about its literature. – VNS
This was also the first time amateur poets from the High Commands of Border Guard and Navy had taken part in Poetry Day.
This year, the event also featured traditional music, including hat van (northern spiritual singing), hat xam (music of blind buskers) and folk songs performed by troupes from the northern provinces of Son La and Nam Dinh.
Writer Luginov Nikolai Alekseevich from the Russian Writers' Association said he was extremely impressed by the number of artists and guests the festival had attracted.
"I see many people smiling in the Temple of Literature, despite the rain," he said.
"I believe that there is much love and respect for the public in Vietnamese poetry."
Poet Nguyen Ha Thu from the northern province of Son La's Culture and Arts Association said this was the first time she and her fellow poets had celebrated Poetry Day in Ha Noi.
"In response to the Viet Nam Writers' Association's call, we have organised a poetry event for 13 years.
"Our event is different from the one held in Ha Noi because it takes place at night where poets recite their works and chat with poetry lovers in candle light.
"We're from a remote and mountainous province where life's still hard. That's the reason why our events are much smaller than the one held here in Ha Noi, but it's still an much-anticipated by both poets and readers," she said.
The Son La delegation brought with them local poets' works and publications about the culture, music and customs there as gifts for visitors at the festival.
"Attending Poetry Day in the capital, we have a chance to exchange with other poets. We're happy to share our new poems with each other. We've also learnt from the event, so we will be able to improve our poetry night in Son La."
Culture and arts associations from other cities and provinces across the country also organised similar events to respect Vietnamese poetry and express their love for the genre.
Many secondary and high school students performed calligraphy by writing down their favourite verses on Poetry Day in the central province of Quang Nam.
Beside recitals, the poets also introduced their works through music, which was one of the highlights of the poetry festival in the province, said poet Pham Thong, head of the organising board.
In HCM City, Poetry Day drew the participation of thousands of visitors. The event was joined by veteran poets who witnessed the resistance against the French and the US, and poets from ethnic groups.
"This year, audiences also enjoyed works composed by young poets who were born after 1975, some of them are even at school-age," said Pham Sy Sau, vice chairman of the HCM City Writers' Association.
"A collection of 40 poems printed in a one-off book was also auctioned at the event, and the proceeds will be donated to a fund to encourage young poets in the city," he said. — VNS