Poetry day, HCMC needs to promote more activities

The residents of Ho Chi Minh City welcomed Tet Nguyen Tieu (Lantern Festival), celebrated on the fifteenth day of the lunar year, with a meaningful cultural activity, a day for poetry lovers. Vietnam Poetry Day, in its seventh year, has become an integral part of Vietnamese cultural life.

Poets at Potery Day in Bach Tung Diep park , district 1 HCMC.( Photo SGGP).

This year, Poetry Day in HCM City had the theme Cội nguồn – Hội nhập – Sáng tạo (Originality– Integration – Creativeness). However, poems leaned to Integration most, with Creativeness a poor third.

The organization committee had organized a close poetry day to connect readers and poets by arranging seats to exchange, present poets and words.

Poets participated in festival to not only admire and introduce poems but also meet other poets and poetry fans after one year of laboring over and creating works.

Now, with the strong development of IT, introducing poetry is not such a difficulty that poets have to wait until Poetry Day to introduce their works. They can share their new verses through many channels.

Many young poets in Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Hanoi, chose an arithmetic name thơ 360 độ (360 degrees of poetry). It not only means embracing life as a circle but also alluding to the 360 blog system on Yahoo where poets can present their new poems and literary works.

Visitors would leave with a good impression of poems if its composers have novel ways of presentation. This was the strength of Hanoi’s poetry festival. In HCM City, young poets were also diligent enough to find new ways to present their poems.

Young poets had created novel ways to present their poems. Dang Quynh Nhu was maybe the most creative poet; she created a stylized field with lines of verse and a modern puppet wearing a large piece of paper which was torn into the shape of a dress.

The festival in HCM City this year did not just take place in Bach Tung Diep Park District 1. Earlier, a poem exhibition was also held in Van Hanh Zen Monastery, where poets had tried to present their poems in impressive ways, such as verses lying about in a paper made boat, or poems on pottery, rock,  calligraphy and oil-paint.

Cultural activity should be promoted

“The exhibition gathered confident poets who wanted to find out new and simple ways of presenting poetry to help visitors be closer to the poetry”, the organizer of the poetry exhibition, Monk Thich Thien Tam told SGGP.

Poetry Day was organized to help poets bring poetry closer to readers. However, it has met with some difficulties.

First is space, “Poetry Day lacks surrounding activities, so its attractiveness is reduced. We cut some activities and postponed the festival to Sunday instead of Monday in other not to bore people too much with few activities,” said poet Truong Nam Huong, a member of the organization committee, explaining the reason why HCM City held it’s festival one day sooner than Hanoi.

With the spaces of Bach Tung Diep Park and the front yard of the Vietnam History Museum in District 1, the organizing committee could not organize various activities. However, Hanoi’s Temple of Literature has many suitable spaces to hold related activities, so poetry activities attracted more readers than in HCM City.

Second are poetry fans. Poetry Day in HCM City gathered a lot of poets, with most poetry readers and guests arriving spontaneously or came to visit when they heard the about the festival.

A young poet Le Thieu Nhon said “we are forgetting a large number of poetry lovers, they are students. They not only love poetry but are also enthusiastic. We should organize pre-Poetry Day events at universities and call on students to participate in Poetry Day. This would help the day to be more crowded and novel, Hanoi has begun to do that.”

Poetry is a cultural activity of the city in the beginning of the year. Developing and enhancing activities would help bring more people to participate in Poetry Day. If organizers can overcome this challenge over the coming years, poetry will become a cultural festival day for everybody.

Related articles:
Bards get ready for Poem Day
Poetry Day brings poets closer to readers

By Tuong Van – Translated by H.Mien

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