The Tale of Kiêu
A Vietnamese Epic Poem
A hundred years – in this life span on earth
talent and destiny are apt to feud.
You must go through an event in which the sea becomes mulberry fields
and watch such things as make you sick at heart.
Is it strange that who is rich in this is poor in that?
Blue Heaven’s wont to strike rosy cheeks from spite.
Opening passage from Nguyen Du’s (1766-1820)
classic Vietnamese poem “The Tale of Kieu.”