Poems of Hồ Xuân Hương : 詠屋𧋆 - River Snail


Title:詠屋𧋆 - River Snail
 NômEnglish
Content:博媄生𫥨分屋𧋆
𣎀𣈜粦𨀎盎𦹵灰
君子固傷辰扑𧞣
吀停𪭟𢭴魯𦟹碎
Fate and my parents shaped me like a snail,
day and night wandering marsh weeds that smell foul.
Kind sir, if you want me, open my door.
But please don’t poke up into my tail.
Notes:The river snail, inhabiting ponds and rice fields, is considered unpleasant and foul. Bóc yếm in line three means “remove covering,” punning on the word for the operculum (the glassy opening) of the snail and its homonym, a kind of brassiere worn by women of Hồ Xuân Hương’s time.