Thơ mới

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New Poetry Movement (Vietnamese  : Phong-trào Thơ-mới) was a literary movement in 1930s colonial Vietnam, abandoning the stylized forms of Chinese-influenced poetry in chu Nom for free verse in Latin-alphabet quoc ngu. [1] [2]

Vietnamese language official and national language of Vietnam

Vietnamese is an Austroasiatic language that originated in Vietnam, where it is the national and official language. It is the native language of the Vietnamese (Kinh) people, as well as a first or second language for the many ethnic minorities of Vietnam. As a result of Vietnamese emigration and cultural influence, Vietnamese speakers are found throughout the world, notably in East and Southeast Asia, North America, Australia and Western Europe. Vietnamese has also been officially recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic.


The initial impetus was the result of exposure to French poetry, [3] and failures in attempts to translate Verlaine or Baudelaire into the old Chinese-derived poetry forms. [4] Since the 1950s most poetry in Vietnam is written in free verse. [5] The New Poetry Movement did not just depart from Sino-Vietnamese poetic forms and script, it also introduced more lyrical, emotional and individualistic expression. [6] This poetic movement was contemporary with, and inter-related with, the French realism-inspired realist novels of the Tu Luc Van Doan ("Self-Strengthening Literary Group"). [7]

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Free verse is an open form of poetry. It does not use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern.

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Among the poets of the "New Poetry," Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu, better known by pen-name Tản Đà, (1889–1939) was one of the transitional poets between the old and "New." [8] In terms of literary criticism, Hoài Thanh (1909-1982) was the first to make a systematic comparison of the Tho Moi movement with Western poetry. [9]

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Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu (阮克孝), pen name Tản Đà was a Vietnamese poet. He used both traditional Sino-Vietnamese forms and European influences and was a transitional figure between the turn of the 1890s such as Tú Xương and Nguyễn Khuyến and the "New Poetry" movement of the 1930s.

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  1. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics 2012 Page 1519 ed. Roland Greene, Stephen Cushman, Clare Cavanagh "The thât ngôn bát cú, seven syllables and eight lines styled after the lüshi form, became the preferred poetic pattern until the thơ mới period at the beginning of the 20th c."
  2. Culture and Customs of Vietnam - Page 76 Mark W. McLeod, Thi Dieu Nguyen - 2001 "Western-style poetry was the first genre to be seized upon, with French romanticism and free verse stimulating a movement for tho moi, or "new poetry," free verse in quoc ngu as opposed to the stylized forms hitherto employed in Chinese and ..."
  3. New American writing: Issues 22-23 2004 "The New Poetry Movement of the 1930s Influenced by the romantic and symbolist trends in 19th century French poetry, Vietnamese poets during the 1930s, who had been immersed in the French language by way of French colonial schools, ..."
  4. Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945 - Page 166 David G. Marr - 1984 "The writers of "New Poetry Movement were in an analogous situation, discarding Chinese and nom meters only when it became obvious that Verlaine or Baudelaire could not be adequately translated in that manner.82"
  5. Ears on fire: snapshot essays in a world of poets Gary Mex Glazner - 2002 "Tho Moi is new poetry or free verse. As in the West, most poetry written today is free verse."
  6. Asian and African studies: Volume 9 Slovenská akadémia vied. Kabinet orientalistiky - 1974 "This involved the movement of "The New Poetry" (Tho moi) which stood up against the canons of Vietnamese classical prosody. It was predominantly lyrical poetry with an enormous range of feelings and an ability to express individualism."
  7. Vietnamese studies review: Issues 1-3 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia). Office of International Programs - 1997 "... the new prose works of Tu Luc Van Doan (Self-Strength Literary Club) and the literature of realism, some poetic peaks in the campaign of Tho Moi (new poetry) and, in its last stage, an experimental impact on critics, research and debates."
  8. Jack Andrew Yeager, The Vietnamese novel in French: a literary response to colonialism University of New Hampshire - 1987 "Nguyen Khac Kieu (who used the pseudonym Tan Da) is considered a great poet of the time, even the poet laureate of Viet Nam.41 A transitional figure, his work bridged the gap between classical poetry and what came to be known as New Poetry (Tho Moi), a movement that triumphed in the late 1930s."
  9. Viet Nam social sciences 1999 "Here, for the first time Hoai Thanh made a systematic comparison of New Poetry Movement with Western poetry. He pointed out the influence of French poetry on Tho moi, an important influence besides the influence of the tradition ..."