Trần Tế Xương

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Trần Tế Xương (Chinese: 陳濟昌; 5 September 187029 January 1907), also known by the pen name Tú Xương, was a Vietnamese poet and satirist.


  • What earthly use are these Confucian graphs?
    Masters and doctors lie curled up and wilt.
    Why not take lessons and become a clerk?
    At night champagne, at break of day cow's milk!
    • Poem 71 in An Anthology of Vietnamese Poems, trans. Huỳnh Sanh Thông (Yale University Press, 1996), ISBN 978-0300064100
    • Variant translation:
      • What good are Chinese characters?
        All those Ph.D.'s are out of work.
        Much better to be a clerk for the French:
        You get milk in the morning and champagne at night.
      • In: Understanding Vietnam by Neil L. Jamieson (University of California Press, 1995), ISBN 978-0520916586, p. 55

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