Nguyen Dinh Tam: “Inspiration comes from the reality of life happening around us every day, with the sensitivity of our souls, hearts and minds”

Interview with poet Nguyen Dinh Tam from Vietnam

Επιμέλεια συνέντευξης: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Bio: Poet Nguyen Dinh Tam was born in Cua Lo Town, Nghe An Province, Vietnam. He was Lecturer, Head of the Department of Engines and Thermal Equipments, Vietnam Maritime University. Member of Vietnam Writers Association, Hai Phong Writers Association. President of Vietnam for Literature Nanum Society, Korea. Published 12 poetry collections, won 6 awards. His poetry was translated into 12 languages.

Dear Honorable Poet, please share your thoughts about the pandemic and the future of literature after the pandemic. At the end of December 2019, the pandemic started in Wuhan, China and then broke out globally, nearly 7 million people died, all activities were halted, leaving a lot of pain and loss for humanity, had had a strong impact on social life, including literature and art. Books and magazines would be developed in two forms of printed books and e-books, and global literature exchange in the online form would be popularized.

The Good and the Bad. Who is winning in nowadays? The good thing was the expression of goodwill, humanity, towards good values. The dynamism, creativity, strong youth, contributed to the vitality, and promoted the development of society. Feminine literature was showing a good sign of a developed society. What was not good is that literature, especially poetry, was caught up in the rapid changes of the scientific and technological revolution, lacks living capital, bewildered, disoriented, and the innovation was still sophisticated in terms of words, lacking both soul and intellect. Literature towards good, humane values and promoting social development would win.

Tell us where inspiration is coming from for you? Inspiration comes from the reality of life happening around us every day, with the sensitivity of our souls, hearts and minds. Everything has its own beauty. The flower we cherish, the grass we accidentally step on every step (without us noticing) has its own respectable beauty. Science invented for the advancement of mankind, but science also invented weapons of mass destruction. Good and evil went together. The source of inspiration would depend on the soul, heart and mind of the author. I am inclined towards human beauty.

Are the people reading books or no? Yes, books are the intellectual treasures of mankind. Reading culture will preserve and enrich people’s intelligence, adjust to a more correct way of thinking and view, towards good values, towards goodness and humanity, about patriotism. Reading is the best way to absorb world culture, enrich your knowledge, become smarted, develop your soul, and aim for the beauty of humanity.

How many books have you written? And where can we find your books? Up to now, I have published 12 books at home and abroad. Literary translation is a bridge for readers from other countries to access my works, from publishing a bunch of poems in foreign literary magazines to publishing them as books in foreign publishers, although I still not have much information, but I do know that the editorial boards of literary magazines of the following countries: Italy, Romania, Nepal, Russia, Pakistan, India, Greece, Canada, Korea, Association of World Writers has welcomed my work very warmly, especially Korean readers who have loved my poetry and welcomed me.

Do you believe that our life, our destiny is written or we can change it? I respect all freedom of belief, experiencing life’s ups and downs with my own events, I believe that each person’s destiny is born programmed, but each person’s life depends a lot on striving, the will to overcome all difficulties in any situation, any situation to improve themselves to have true happiness.

Religion is the cause of many wars – a lot of people they say that. What do you think? Humanity has experienced brutal wars, including wars of RELIGION, Ethnicity (11th-13th century of Crusade, 16th century French religious war, the Catholic and Protestant wars of the 17th century), but the two brutal World Wars were boldly IDEOLOGY. So the main cause of war is religion and ideology (product of sin).

Money brings happiness? Money is very necessary for each person in life and helps us to facilitate the implementation of ideas, but money is only a means, not an end. The goal of human is happiness. Feeling in control of ourselves and our time most independently also helps us to feel happy. “The rich also cry!”

The book. E book or Hardcover book. What will be the future? The advent of e-books is a trend of choice for many readers, but printed books still have their own readers. Reading specific words on printed books helps more for the process of perceiving, receiving information and having its own interesting. Whenever I read something good on the web, I print it out and store it for later reading. Therefore, the two forms of printed books and e-books will both exist and develop together, supporting each other, each has a number of readers with its own characteristics, not destroying each other.

What do you think about the year of technology? Are we lost ourselves inside the mobile phone, the computers… The essence of technology is to bring convenience to people. Information technology develops like a storm, social networks take the throne, audio and video application take turns to make everything convenient for users. But the reverse side of technology makes the love in people gradually disappear, easy to lose the emotional bond, leading to indifference to loved ones. I think robots can’t replace the heart that expresses its own feelings, the sensitivity of a rich and sentimental soul, a robot that can make hundreds of millions of poems can’t do Nguyen Du’s Tale of Kieu.

Environmental issues. Is the progress the technology and the humans are responsible for all this disaster? Why? Yes. We are living in an era of strong scientific and technological revolution, which is gradually satisfying human needs. Human behavior in accordance with the laws of nature is a good friend, full of goodwill, whereas acts contrary to the laws of nature, the revenge of nature will be enormous, population growth, unlimited demand, exhaustive exploitation of resources, harmful effects of industrial waste, polluted air will seriously affect the ecological environment and human health.

A wish for 2023? I hope the earth is always kept fresh, people are always kind to each other, towards the beauty of humanity, together with big arms, for Freedom – Peace – Friendship.

His short poem:

Floating with the clouds

The sea forgets that it is salty
I forgot my white hair
Longing the endlessly deep blue with the ocean waves