Brilliant light of Nguyen Dinh Chieu’s poetry

A book introduction ceremony was recently held in Kiev in July to showcase Luc Van Tien (The Tale of Luc Van Tien), the most popular poem by blind Vietnamese poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu (1822 – 1888). At the event, Professor, Doctor of Philosophy, President of the Ukrainian Knowledge Society Vasily Nevolov delivered a speech highlighting the value of ‘Luc Van Tien’ and the brilliant light of Nguyen Dinh Chieu’s poetry in general.

Professor Vasily Nevolov (L) presents a collection of poetry by celebrated Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko to Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Hong Thach at the ceremony.
Professor Vasily Nevolov (L) presents a collection of poetry by celebrated Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko to Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Hong Thach at the ceremony.

In his speech, he recalled that ‘Luc Van Tien’ was first published in Ukraine in 1983 thanks to the efforts of the Ukrainian Initiative Organisation to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of Nguyen Dinh Chieu.

He hailed that Nguyen Dinh Chieu's poetry is the highest expression of literary excellence; and the fruit of a healthy mind and pure feelings, of human plenitude and the harmony of the world.

The commemoration of Nguyen Dinh Chieu’s works is not simply an exaltation but also a manifestation of creation, as whenever we pay homage to Nguyen Dinh Chieu we remember him as a great philosopher, he said, adding that the example of Chieu’s erudition encourages people on lifelong learning, self-improvement, thus coming closer to the Creator.

The Ukrainian professor argued that poetry has always been a tool to dive into the essence of things, into the depths of their forms and the strata of things, and into the nature of the human being, thus it is the search, intentional or not, for light on the truth.

With such meaning, he emphasised that Nguyen Dinh Chieu's poetry educates readers on doing good and upright things, leads them to wisdom, and encourages them to self-train, seek harmony and return to traditional values.

Citing his own life, Nguyen Dinh Chieu created an epic of kindness and justice, and established himself as a source of inspiration for millions of people to fight for beauty ideals.

Brilliant light of Nguyen Dinh Chieu’s poetry  ảnh 1
Copies of the book introduced at the event (Photo: VNA)
While Nguyen Dinh Chieu was working on the final verses of 'Luc Van Tien', the tale had been widely spread among the public.

This prove that the author clearly held that composition as an opportunity to raise his voice amidst the whirlwind of social struggle and to stand up for justice and human dignity.

Therefore, ‘Luc Van Tien’ has drawn great interest from readers thanks to the purity of the soul of its characters, as well as the faithfulness and honesty that it evokes.

While commenting on the main characters of the tale, Luc Van Tien and Nguyet Nga, Nevolov said readers are captivated by their deep, pure love and faithfulness and the nobility of their souls.

He reiterated that although ‘Luc Van Tien’ is not too long, this work by Vietnam's leading classical poet opens many meditations and meanings. Nguyen Dinh Chieu was a worthy successor to uphold the tradition of philosophical poetry as he wisely integrated the beautiful with the useful, the rational with the irrational.

Nguyen Dinh Chieu has gained the respect of many generations of Vietnamese and international friends thanks to his tireless efforts to fight for justice, and for the spiritual progress of humanity, Professor Nevolov stressed.

He revealed that the Ukrainian Knowledge Society is working to adapt the ‘Luc Van Tien’ into a theatre play in order to further explore the meaning of the Vietnamese poetry work.

He pledged to regularly notify the Vietnamese Embassy about the progress of the project, and took the occasion to convey his thanks to the Vietnamese artists for their consultation on music, costumes, set designs, and choreography for the stage play.

He expressed his belief that the project will help to strengthen the cultural diplomacy between Ukraine and Vietnam in the future and further promote the value of ‘Luc Van Tien'.