Friday, August 18, 2017 - 6:34:08

Ha Long City hosts festival of poetry

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Eighty-two poets from 26 countries and territories around the world gathered in the northern province of Quang Ninh on Feb. 2 to take part in the first Asia Pacific Poetry Festival.

The opening ceremony of the five-day festival was held in Ha Long City, a place recently recognised as one of the world's natural wonders.

"We decided to hold the event in Quang Ninh because the province is a traditional land of poetry and known for its natural beauty," said Nguyen Quang Thieu, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Writers Association (VWA).

After the opening ceremony, the participants took part in an incense offering ceremony in honour of Emperor-poet Le Thanh Tong at the foot of Bai Tho (Poem) Mountain. They also recited the poem Tien Nhan (Ancestors), chanting the beauty of the melody by the banks of the bay.

The poets took part in a bilingual conference in Vietnamese and English entitled Poetry for a Peaceful, Co-operative and Developed Asia-Pacific.

The festival draws the participation of prominent and globally acclaimed poets, including Canada's Susan Blanshard, a member of the International Pen Women Writers' Committee; China's Tian Xiao Hua and Israel's Naim Araidi, a founder of the International Poetry Festival in Maghar.

The famous contemporary poet Ko Un from the Republic of Korea, a candidate for the Nobel prize in literature last year, is also attending the festival along with 40 Vietnamese poets.

Thieu said participants' poems have been translated into English and Vietnamese to help readers understand and enjoy the works.

During the festival, foreign poets will meet and exchange ideas with Vietnamese poets and readers. International poetry nights are scheduled to take place in Ha Long on Feb. 3 and in Hanoi on Feb. 4.

Guests and hosts will celebrate Vietnamese Poetry Day, which falls on Feb. 5, and meet Vietnam's President Truong Tan Sang.

On Feb. 6, a visit to Tay Phuong Pagoda in Hanoi is planned for a Zen poem recital of Buddhist monks and poets./.
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