Born 1765 in the village of Tien Dien, Ha Tinh Province; died Sept. 16, 1820, in Hue. Vietnamese poet.
From 1783 to 1789, Nguyen Du served as a military commander. Later, during the Tay Son Uprising, Nguyen Du went into hiding in the countryside. Under the Nguyen dynasty, whose rule began in 1802, he held high official posts.
In his early lyric poetry, for example, “Words of a Young Hat Seller,” Nguyen Du abandoned the canons of classical poetry and imitated folk poetry. His major work, the narrative (but at the same time lyric and epic) poem Groans of a Tormented Soul (or Kim Van Kieu), was the culmination of medieval Vietnamese literature. The poem presents a broad panorama of feudal society and accurately depicts man’s inner experiences. In the poetic work All That Lives, Nguyen Du gives a Buddhist interpretation of his dramatic era. The collection Various Notes From Travels to the North (1813–14) reveals Nguyen Du’s patriotic aspirations.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Vse zhivoe: Sb. stikhov. Moscow, 1965.
REFERENCENikulin, N. I. Velikii v’etnamskii poet Nguen Zu. Moscow, 1965.
N. I. NIKULIN