Ngô Xuân Diệu (Vietnamese: [swən˧˧ ziəw˧˨ʔ]; February 2, 1916 – December 18, 1985) was a Vietnamese poet, journalist, short-story writer, and literary critic, best known as one of the prominent figures of the twentieth-century Thơ mới (New Poetry) Movement. Heralded by critics as "the newest of the New Poets", Xuân Diệu rose to popularity with the collection Thơ thơ (1938), which demonstrates a distinct voice influenced by Western literature, notably French symbolism. He was one of the first to employ Western poetic devices like enjambment in Vietnamese poetry, while occasionally adhering to traditional forms like lục bát. Between 1936 and 1944, his poetry was characterized by a desperation for love, juxtaposed with a desire to live and to experience the beauty of the world. After joining the Vietnamese Communist Party in 1945, the themes of his works shifted towards the Party and their resistance against the French and the Americans. When he died in 1985, he left behind about 450 poems, as well as several short stories, essays, and literary criticisms.
Although his love poems use expressions and pronouns that are more commonly associated with heterosexual relationships, Xuân Diệu was confirmed by many, including his close friends, to be gay. According to the writer Tô Hoài, his homosexuality was known amongst his fellow soldiers during their time in the revolutionary base, which had at some point led to admonishments from the military. To this day, the impact of his sexual orientation on his poetry remains a topic of discussion.
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