Dinh Nho Hoan 1671-1716

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Vetnamese envoy poet whose nickname was Mac Ong 默翁.

"Mac Ong's name was Dinh. He was from Huong Son County in Hoan Chau. As a person he was gentle refined, sharp and fond of studying. There was nothing that he had not read and he was especially adept at intoning verse. his poetry stored the pure, ancient rhymes, and (in reading)one could sense the stule of Li and Du (Li Bo and Du Fu).

In 1715 he was appointed to serve as envoy on a mission to the Northern Kingdom (China). He composed verses about all of the sites he passed. Be it Tang regulated verse or vernacular poetry, there was no form he did not fully employ, nor was he satisfied to compose works in five or seven character regulated verse only. Unfortunately, outside the city of Yanjing (Beijing) he was unable to make it to see his life through to its end. Oh! How we morn!

In a bamboo canister among his returned belongings I fould some draft writings. I combined them together and have repectfully entitled the work the Collected Poems of Mac Ong. To make for easier reading, I have added notes where I was able to do so. Perhaps now His Honor's true intent will be known to all for generations to come." Written by Mac Ong's son-in-law Nguyen Trong Thoung. Translated by Liam Kelley.

From Liam Kelley's fascinating tour through Northern Vietnam, Guangxi, Hunan and beyond in his study of Vietnamese envoy poetry, Beyond the Bronze Pillars, Envoy Poetry And The Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, University of Hawaii Press, 2005

Crossing The Pass Is Hard 過關難

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