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Men’s valuable is kindness towards women

Poet mien di, whose real name is Nguyen Xuan Hoa, was born in 1976 and is now living in Pleiku city in the Central Highlands.
Men’s valuable is kindness towards women
logochuan - Poet mien di, whose real name is Nguyen Xuan Hoa, was born in 1976 and is now living in Pleiku city in the Central Highlands. The poet has just won the third prize at the Poetry Contest held by the Van nghe Quan doi Magazine with his series of poems When the ex-wife goes getting married; This July.
Reporter: First, we would like to thank you for granting us this talk, mien di (we do not capitalize your name as you do not). How did you come to know the Van nghe Quan doi Magazine?

Poet mien di: I was born in 1976. In my childhood, the Internet has yet to come into life; therefore, I read books and we often traded
the Van nghe Quan doi Magazine with one another till the magazines’ margins got curly and worn-out. They were so much precious. I still remember those rainy days when I tucked myself in the blanket and devoured short stories in those magazines. The magazines’ short stories were so good back then! As you see, I came to know the Military Literature Magazine as a reader like that.

Reporter: Did you mean short stories of the magazine these days are not as good?

Poet mien di: I mean that it was the right historical period of time for those working at No.4 Ly Nam De street in Hanoi (the
Van nghe Quan doi’s office) and authors those days to bring excellent short stories to life.

Reporter: Let’s talk about poetry. When it comes to poetry, there are people composing poems to express their thoughts while some come to poetry a hideaway. What about you? Can readers find you in your poems?

Poet mien di: In my first collection, readers may find a daring and heart-broken mien di. In the second and also the upcoming one, mien di is portrayed as a forty-year-old man starting to grow old with his regrets.

Reporter: As you’ve said about your two poem collections, do you mean there is no room for happiness and hope or something will arise internally from sorrow?

Poet mien di: You know what’s after happiness?/ Sorrow amid cheers I feel. From these lines, you may see that hopes and despairs mingle. We are used to separating happiness from sorrow, joy from sadness, hope and despair; however, as I can see, both happiness and sorrow belong to a one-life of a person. Sorrow does not mean the end of world, but it just finishes its turn for happiness to come next. Each time sorrow comes, it bears its own significance as long as we do not separate it from the whole course of life. I compose poems to together with readers find out the meaning of sorrow and to find happiness that grows internally right inside sorrow. You see, my poems bring optimism, right? But it is the optimism in the perception of the pains of human life. It is true that we cannot avoid sorrow to back away from our life, isn’t it? Therefore, mien di’s poetry is often about sorrow and exists thanks to sorrow. As you can see, many people turn noble and stand high by sorrow, making us realize that sorrow bears in it more humanity than the pleasure of fun and triumph. So strange there exist pains like grace. This is the line of verse that I wrote and if I fail to help readers find that grace then I would cease composing poems.

Poet mien di

Reporter: William Wordsworth, a British poet, once said: “Poetry is the first and last of all knowledge. It is as immortal as the heart of man.” It’s more like a declaration, right? As for you, how does poetry affect you?

Poet mien di: It imposes little effect on me. Life and human lives do have impacts on me and my poetry, however.

Reporter: Poets are often lonesome. However, when it comes to “Finding friends sometimes so hard/ That my own name I have to call”, is it so much lonesome to the extreme? Or it is just that you have your own world?

Poet mien di: I am polite with lonesomeness. Lonesomeness to me is a crowd, in which there is also me, in the thought. If I have my own world, it would also be where there are all the lives and destinies in my thought.

Reporter: You wrote a lot about women. Are they the mother, the wife and the lover or the silhouette of someone else? They are beautiful in your poems (though you do not describe them), but is it true that sorrow and anxiety and something uncertain and full of pity can be seen from them?

Poet mien di: I don’t know why but I feel that beauty has in it anxiety! Maybe it is because ultimately anxiety is a sign of cherishing. That feeling always arises in me whenever I write about women. If life of women is not sad, uncertain and full of pity, then there should never be mien di’s poetry. I want the readership to realize that the fair sex is not only radiant in happiness, but also gorgeous in sorrow that they endure, go through, and overcome...

Reporter: “Withered no more/ Thou grow smarter/ And thy face wears new smiles/ Thy eyes shed tears in new pains/ Like your husband now/ Not I.” Like these lines of verse, in some other poems, you wrote about incomplete happiness, unsatisfied fun, shattered love stories, which are not because the insiders cease loving each other. Can you make further elaboration on it?

Poet mien di: That is kindness, which has unfortunately been sinking into oblivion in the emotional relations that I’ve happened to see. Is it possible that love only means complete happiness? Why can we not spare love for each other even when we have become little important to each one? A jubilant sorrow/ A joyful pain and a pleased mercy. That is what I wrote, in a poem of bitterness. Parting, incomplete relationship, and separation can cause many things to disappear, but we should try to keep best things in the heart. Men’s valuable is kindness towards women.

Reporter: It should be surprising for anyone to learn that mien di is also a businessman. Do you combine or separate poetry from business?

Poet mien di: I am a poet and I am also a father. I have to earn money to bring up my children. I do not clearly separate business from poetry as both of them are arts, and..., therefore, equally difficult.

Reporter: Has the poetry prize of the
Military Literature Magazine that you’ve recently won helped customers learn more about you?

Poet mien di: The recent prize in fact has helped... my parents understand me more. That’s enough for me.

Reporter: Writers now are good at more than one job (as I can see from you). Do you think that different jobs bring real experiences as special and novel materials for poetry?

Poet mien di: It is certainly more like cooking without rice when a poet goes without life’s materials. Therefore, working hard to earn a living is also a stage in the making of poems.

Reporter: Do you think that young writers are now more lonesome and feel more confused than previous generations? As a poet with achievements, what should you share with young people who are pursuing the job of writing?

Poet mien di: In addition to a new image, a new language, new reality, and novel methods, young poets are creating a new sense of perceiving beauty. Young poets are writing a lot about the delirium in the mind as a way to escape the meaningless existence. It is different from the metaphysical obsession that older generations of poets wanted to psychologically dwell into in parts.

These two things can be seen the same at first, but they are totally different. One is the disappointment to run away from the existence. The other is the ardent passion for the exploration of the psychological world of wilderness.

Poetry, in one way or another, manages to reflect that reality as it is.

Reporter: Thank you for your time!

Poet mien di: Thank you and good health to you. I hope the Military Literature Magazine will introduce more excellent works to the readership.

(Translated by HUU DUONG)