From WOMEN ON WAR: An Anthology of Women's Writings from Antiquity to the Present edited by Daniela Gioseffi,and published by The Feminist Press @ CUNY Graduate Center, NY, March 2003. All rights reserved.
Lament of a Warrior's Wife
Translated from the Vietnamese by Lady Borton
Vietnamese love of the home village and the melancholy of separation from a long history of war have inspired some of the world's most plaintive poetry. Nowhere is this sadness more acute than in Lament of a Warrior's Wife. The Lament. was written in han Chinese by Dang Tran Con (1710-1745), a Confucian scholar who received his bachelor's degree at Van Mieu, the Temple of Literature in Ha Noi.
However, scholars consistently note that Doan Thi Diem's
translation into Vietnamese script surpasses the original poem in
imagery and poetic technique. Doan Thi Diem's husband left for war in
China a month after their marriage. Scholars believe she translated
Lament of a Warrior's Wife into its 408 Vietnamese lines during
those years. Doan Thi Diem (1705-1748) died shortly after her