Writer of ‘Em oi! Ha Noi pho’ passes away

Poet Phan Vu, writer of the epic poem ‘Em oi! Ha Noi pho’ passed away this morning in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) after a long time in a coma, at the age of 93.

Poet Phan Vu. (Photo by Du Nguyen)
Poet Phan Vu. (Photo by Du Nguyen)

Poet Phan Vu (real name Tran Hong Hai) was born in 1926 in the northern city of Hai Phong

When he was 20 years old, he joined the army and advanced to the South. He worked in the arts field in the Southeast and Southwest.

In 1954, he came back to the North and worked in the Vietnam Film Studio in Hanoi while being a part-time editor for Nhan Van Newspaper.

In 1972, when the North is in the middle of a fierce battle, he wrote the epic poem ‘Em oi! Ha Noi pho’ (Darling! Oh the Streets in Hanoi!), which was later turned into a song by composer Phu Quang and sung for the first time in radio in 1987 by singer Le Thu. After that, other famous singers like Ngoc Tan, Thanh Lam, Bang Kieu, or Cam Van have also sung that song, leaving a moving emotion in the mind of listeners.

It has become one of the most renowned songs about Hanoi.

Since the Reunification Day ( April 1975), Phan Vu came to HCMC and worked in HCMC Television.

Besides writing poems, he was also a dramatist, a stage director, a film director, and a painter.

He was the author of various art pieces of all types such as the drama Lua Chay Len Roi (Fire!) – winning the second prize of the Vietnam Literature and Arts Association in 1955; other dramas of Ha Noi; Thanh Guom va Ba Me (the Sword and the Mother); Dong Song Am Vang (Echo of the River); Ngon Lua Thanh Dong (the Fire on the Copper Bulwark); the collection of poems Phan Vu Tho (Poems of Phan Vu) – published by the Literature Publishing House in 2008; and the two films of Bi Mat Thanh Pho Cam (Secret of the Forbidden City), Nhu Mot Huyen Thoai (Just Like a Legend).

In 2018, at the age of 92, Phan Vu introduced the second poem collection Ta Con Em (I Still Have You), published by Nha Nam and the Writer Association Publishing House). He then launched the painting exhibition ‘Em oi! Ha Noi pho’ in HCMC.

His prose Ly Ruou Tran Gian (Glass of Wine on Earth), published recently by Nha Nam and the Writer Association Publishing House, is considered his last art work. It is a short note on his life. It is a pity that Phan Vu passed away when the book was on its way to HCMC.

The funeral of Phan Vu is held at the HCMC Funeral Home, located on Le Quy Don Street of District 3 in HCMC.

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