Ho Xuan Huong

(1772 - 1822 / Nghệ An Province)

Water-Bailing - Poem by Ho Xuan Huong

Not a drop of rain for this dry heat!
Come, girls, let's go bail water.
Let's drag our delta-shaped buckets to that huge square field
where our bodies can pulse to the water's lapping.
Crouched, straining to catch each trickle from the rockheads,
our buttocks tighten with such labor.
Indeed, we work so hard we forget the effort
and, taking a final stance to bend and lift -
you part your legs a second, and it's filled.

Comments about Water-Bailing by Ho Xuan Huong

  • Gold Star - 8,402 Points Susan Williams (10/3/2015 1:13:00 PM)

    I read that she often wrote poems heavy with sexual innuendo. Looking at this piece that way certainly changes this from a poem about women working in the rice fields to women working in a different area all together. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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