Ho Xuan Huong | The Jackfruit
I am like a jackfruit on the tree.
To taste you must plug me quick, while fresh:
the skin rough, the pulp thick, yes,
but oh, I warn you against touching—
the rich juice will gush and stain your hands
Ho Xuan Huong | On Sharing a Husband
Screw the fate that makes you share a man.
One cuddles under cotton blankets; the other’s cold.
Every now and then, well, maybe or maybe not.
Once or twice a month, oh, it’s like nothing.
You try to stick to it like a ﬂy on rice
but the rice is rotten. You slave like the maid,
but without pay. If I had known how it would go
I think I would have lived alone.
This themed poetry posts acquaint me with works and poets I’m not aware of. Ho Xuang Huong is one of them. Her poetry is quite candid and sensual—much to my pleasure—for the era she came from. And because of her, I chanced upon John Balaban‘s online abode. From the look of it, he is worth reading as well. If there are Asian countries that I aim to visit someday, Vietnam tops the list. But my trip to this place I’m often mistaken as a citizen will surely start with a book. Oh, it just started with two poems.
March Poem Series: Woman