Talk:Vietnamese poetry

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Removal of discussion of poetry in general[edit]

I see in the article a lot of musings on what poetry is. That's appropriate in the Vietnamese language wikipedia, but here in the English wikipedia it is the main Poetry article that should carry the generic stuff. So I will shorten this article accordingly and try not to remove anything that is informative about Vietnamese poetry in particular. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:00, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Notes on Analysis[edit]

I've added a little intro to this section; I hope it's helpful. In my view it would be useful to restructure this section, segregating the elements that define a verseform (syllable count, tone patterns, rhyme) from other considerations (e.g. cadence) that as far as I can tell are elements of a poet's artistry, but not part of the generic verseform. (An English equivalent would be: consonance, assonance, pause, enjambment... all these may make a poem good, but none of them makes it a sonnet.) I'm particularly concerned that the word "rhyme" appears to be used both in its usual English sense, and for syllables that are obligatorily flat or sharp; these are distinct concepts and require distinct terminology.

May I submit for consideration the scansion method I recently concocted for Lục bát and Song That Luc Bat? I'll be happy to enumerate its virtues (as I see them) if anyone's interested. Finally, I'd be happy to help improve this article, but am hesitant to go very far without "adult supervision": I'm quite conversant in verse structure, but not at all in Vietnamese (or even French). Currently my only real source is Huynh Sanh Thong's seemingly quite good intro to An Anthology of Vietnamese Poems (the New Princeton Encyclopedia entry is -- uncharacteristically -- not so good). Phil wink (talk) 17:44, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Notes on Rhyme[edit]

I've rewritten the section on Rhyme; in the process I've pretty heavily pruned the Vietnamese examples, as I think that generally schematics ("ABAB" etc.) are clearer to an English-language readership. I have not attempted to rewrite the middle ("prime", "secondary", and "??") section because I do not understand it. Specifically, is the third example (which is neither "prime" nor "secondary") a third type of accepted rhyme, an inexpert rhyme, or no kind of rhyme at all? (I assume the second example is to read "secondary", not "secondary prime"?) I'll also note that in the Vietnamese example for "ABAB", the "A" rhymes are sharp and the "B" lines are flat; however, since this was not mentioned in the text, I did not take this to be a structural requirment (as it appears to be in "ABBA"). Finally, I've removed some Vietnamese terms that may have been names for these stanzas, but it was not at all clear to me what their purpose was. If I've gone too far here, by all means we can put them back in, but they should be translated, or at the least their function should be indicated. "Alternate", "intermittent", and "envelope" are not translations of Vietnamese terms, but what I take to be the most standard English terms for these rhyme schemes. Phil wink (talk) 01:00, 1 September 2010 (UTC)


I found the orphaned page for, which lead me here. I placed Vè in the 'see also' section, because while I think it should be linked to from this article, I'm not quite sure where the link should go here. Perhaps another editor can put the bluelink in a more appropriate place. PaintedCarpet (talk) 15:31, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Moving forward[edit]

I'm attempting to push for big improvements on this article over the coming days/weeks/months. Following is my initial plan of action. It's not gospel... if anyone has better ways forward, great. I'm doing broad strokes now... fine details later.

1. Despite the topic, the Vietnamese language itself will mean nothing to almost all readers of this article. Therefore:

a) Where possible, citations of Vietnamese sources should be replaced with English-language sources, and further citations should favor English over other languages. This cannot be all-or-nothing -- especially on this topic which is surely covered much better both in Vietnamese and in French -- but we should aim for English sources as much as possible.
b) Quotes of Vietnamese verse must still be reduced (NOT eliminated, of course). Any verse text remaining must either 1) also appear in English translation, so that content germane to the discussion will be clear or 2) clearly exemplify some element of verse structure (e.g. with explanatory scansion).

2. The article should begin with a major section on History. I suggest something like this structure (this comes from a very superficial reading so please, improve it if you can):

  • History
    • Beginning -- Start with independence in 939; contrast learned & official Chinese forms lüshi/shi (strict, odd-syllables) with native luc bat (more flexible, even-syllables).
    • Development of national poetic identity -- Start with Tran dynasty and development of nôm script.
    • Nguyễn dynasty -- Flowering and Western influence; Kiều, adoption of Roman alphabetic system, influence of French poets and free verse.
    • Modern -- Pre- and post-war verse, current trends, diaspora?.

3. The article will continue with a section on Verse forms; this is more or less what we have now, but it will have to be consolidated and explained more fully.

4. Other sections could possibly be useful, but History and Verse forms should be the bulk of the article. I once thought maybe a section on "poetic devices" or "poetic language" might be useful -- but now I think it will probably be better to place passages that exemplify the artistry of particular periods into the main History section. Phil wink (talk) 04:18, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

This is fantastic, and looking forward to reading it as it progresses. I would only quibble about the need to replace sources not written in English. Good sources in English should be used to the full, and preferred, which is policy, but this is a very specialist area and most sources would be in Vietnamese. A detailed scholarly source in Vietnamese is better than a quick overview in English. Adding the English translations of lines of verse will be a major improvement. If you post at WikiProject Vietnam you may be able to get some help, not perhaps with the article as a whole, because it really is daunting to see how much needs to be done, but with specific tasks like translating some lines. Itsmejudith (talk) 05:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the main thing to bear in mind when restructuring is that this started off as a translation of an article in Vietnamese about poetry in general. I deleted most of that legacy. I saw that the current article on vi:wiki is focused more specifically on Vietnamese poetry, so that article may provide some inspiration. The structure you propose seems fine. We don't need too many examples. I hope we can explain luc bat clearly because that's the most common form, even today. Itsmejudith (talk) 00:02, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I did the scansion diagrams over at Luc bat and Song that luc bat, and I plan on bringing them (or something very like them) over here, which I think will be helpful. And I do plan on cutting down the endless iterations of variants and examples. I will count on you and Hongtran to let me know if I've cut too far. I do think that the History section will do well with a few brief texts & translations, so perhaps existing texts in the Prosody and verse forms section that aren't serving a strong purpose (e.g. just about every example from "Finding Rhyme" on down will probably have to go -- at least!) can be moved up to History and translated. Speaking only English, I myself have nothing to say about what texts might be useful in a literary context -- only whether I can use them for illustrating verse structure. For translations, I've put together a format in the "Tỉ form" section -- only because these few lines already had translations attached. I think this is our best option for displaying text & translation in this article, and is about as user-friendly as is possible, but I'm open to other ideas. Phil wink (talk) 00:42, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

I need help with rhyme[edit]

Can someone clarify "Lạc vận" for me? I've now characterized it as "slant rhyme" in my latest edit. Am I right in assuming that "Lạc vận" requires 1) unrelated vowels 2) that are of the same tone class, and 3) identical final consonants? The original text has no definition and only the one example, so I can't be sure. Is this used more in modern verse? less formal verse? sloppy verse? Also, in the flat poor rhyme list, is "Minh" really right? If "canh" and "mình" are "Lạc vận", surely "Minh" doesn't belong with "khanh" does it? Phil wink (talk) 20:25, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


I've searched for germane images in the Commons -- didn't find a lot. This can serve as a quarry as the article develops. Feel free to add any others, or pluck them if they're useful. If it is our ambition to get to "Good" or "Featured" (it doesn't have to be) this paucity of images may be a huge stumbling block.Phil wink (talk) 02:49, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Also, I found this: About this sound audio of a few lines of The Tale of Kieu 

(I'm deleting images from this page as I add them to the article.) Phil wink (talk) 19:13, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

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