Poet shares thoughts about life through verse

November 19, 2022 - 08:32
Director Lê Quý Dương has released a new bilingual book Nhịp Đập Sáng Tối (The Beats of Light and Shadow) comprising 30 poems written between 1996 and 2022.
The cover of Nhịp Đập Sáng Tối (The Beats of Light and Shadow),a new bilingual poem collection by director and poet Lê Quý Dương. Photo laodong.vn

HÀ NỘI — Director and poet Lê Quý Dương has released a new bilingual book Nhịp Đập Sáng Tối (The Beats of Light and Shadow) comprising 30 poems written between 1996 and 2022.

The poems are accompanied by photos taken by Trần Thị Thu Đông, Chairwoman of Việt Nam Association of Photographic Artists, which creates a dialogue between poetry and photography.

This is his second bilingual book after Ký Họa Cơn Mê (Sketches of Dreams), released in 2020 and comprising his poems and paintings by different contemporary artists.

While Sketches of Dreams covered his inner feelings and personal memories, the latest book shared his thoughts about the world, especially life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explaining the inclusion of pictures and photos in his poetry collections, Dương said that in poetry, there are paintings, pictures and music. He wanted an emotional connection between artists and readers.

He wrote in the poem Pandemic Season: “No flowers needed! No presents needed! No cliché needed! No ‘love’ word was even needed to say! Sweet, pure, complete, sufficient! Like you in an original version in my arms”.

The poet realised that people have been destroying nature. He used poetry to wake people up and take action to change and save themselves: "Mankind is just a parasite species living on the land/Seamed with scars/Dried blood from deep slashes/Several devouring pains imprinted on the surface of the earth."

After all, he still has strong hopes, so that people can continue to repair, see themselves in everything, love everyone and everything unconditionally. Only then can people reach peace: "Then mother softly prayed/Wishing mankind would love each other forever" (My Beloved Mother in the Pandemic).

Writer Kiều Bích Hậu, member of Việt Nam Association of Writers, remarked that with this book, author Dương has shown the duality of life, the viciousness of people in the vortex of endless desire, gain-loss, love-hate, life-death. No matter who you are, awake or dazed, it is difficult to escape this endless vortex.

“His poetry does not only make me think about life, but also really haunts me. Each verse haunts, and then awakens people from the slumber of rushing to earn a living, earn fame and work nonstop. We are tired without even knowing it, like cancer cells silently forming in the body without us knowing,” said Hậu.

According to her, the poetic tone also showcases the personality of director Dương which is strong, fierce, creative and deeply loving. The undisguised frankness in the operations of human affairs, humanity with sharp words immediately put this poet's name on a different level.

Director Lê Quý Dương has released two bilingual poetry books. — VNS Photo Lương Duy Tiến

Lê Quý Dương was born in 1968 in Hà Nội, graduated valedictorian in theory and criticism at Hà Nội University of Theatre and Cinema in 1990, in theatre directing from the Australian Federal Institute of Dramatic Art in 1998 and majored in film directing at Los Angeles Film School under a Fulbright scholarship from the US in 2003.

Currently, he works as a director and writer of cultural festivals and stage arts. Lê Quý Dương has made outstanding contributions in the field of creativity and development of cooperation programmes and cultural and art exchanges between Việt Nam and other countries in the world. He is the President of the International Festival Forum (IFF), member of the Executive Council of the UNESCO’s World Theatre Association (ITI) from 2014 to present. VNS