Ca Dao Vietnam: A Bilingual Anthology of Vietnamese Folk Poetry
During the Vietnam war, John Balaban traveled the Vietnamese countryside alone, taping, transcribing, and translating oral folk poems known as "ca dao." No one had ever done this before, and it was Balaban's belief that his project would help end the war.The young American poet walked up to farmers, fishermen, seamstresses, and monks and said, "Sing me your favorite poem," and they did. "Folk poetry is so much a part of everybody's life, my request didn't seem like such a strange proposition," Balaban writes.The resulting collection-the first in any Western -language-became a phenomenon within the American Vietnamese community, but the book slipped out of print after the original publisher folded in the '70s. This revised, bilingual edition includes new poems and an eloquent introduction explicating poetry's importance in Vietnamese culture.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - rick_green - LibraryThing
In 1971 John Balaban went to Vietnam to record ca dao, lyric poems passed down orally through generations. Guided by a sympathetic monk, he traversed the war-torn southern countryside, capturing some ... Read full review