Nguyen Du Documentary/Poetry During The Pandemic – Poetry News Roundup December 24th

Today on My Poetic Side we have an article about a documentary on the poet Nguyen Du and we also look at BenJamin Zephaniah’s thoughts on the increase of poetry during the pandemic.

Documentary to be Released About Nguyen Du

This week will see the release of the first part of a documentary about the great Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du who lived from 1765 to 1820. The documentary, Dai Thi Hao Nguyen will be shown at cinemas in HCM City.

The first part of the documentary is just 40 minutes long and will take a look at the poet’s childhood in Tien Dien Village which is in the central province of Ha Tinh. It will look in detail at the poet and his talents for music and poetry. It will also take a look at his father who was a mandarin during the Le Dynasty.

The film was debuted in Ha Tinh and Hanoi in September, to mark the joint occasions of the 255th anniversary of the birth of the poet and the 200th anniversary of his death.

In addition to the screening of the documentary, there will also be an academic seminar about an epic poem that was written by the poet in Nôm – which is an ancient ideographic script that is part of the Vietnamese language. The poet played a significant part in promoting the language of Vietnam through his poetry.

Part two of the documentary (Phong Tran Va Tho Ca) is currently in post-production and the final episode is scheduled to be completed at some point next year. It is hoped that the works will educate the younger generation and also those in other countries about the important contribution that Nguyen Du made to the country.

To date, the filming of the documentary has cost in excess of VND 15 billion – USD$645,000.

Poet Hails the Increase of Poetry in Lockdown

The poet Benjamin Zephaniah has been speaking out about his delight at what he calls the “rising tide of poetry in lockdown”, the younger people who have become involved in the world of poetry and who he referred to as the “fired up” generation.

Poetry was already on the rise but during the lockdown, it has become an increasingly popular form of expression, particularly with young people who have taken poetry to a new and exciting level and given it a life. He remembers when he was young and there were the likes of John Cooper Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson on the spoken word circuit. They were so popular that they even outsold some music venues. There was no scene as such and what we have today was created by them.

With the Thatcher era and the end of apartheid, there was plenty for people to speak out about. But then when both those went there was nothing and a void materialised. Now there is plenty for people to once again vocalise and with spoken word competitions and platforms appearing everywhere, they are beginning to connect with poetry again in a way that is ensuring peoples voices are heard.

He loves the fire that has been created by younger people during the lockdown and is proud that he is still doing his bit.


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