The Trịnh Công Sơn phenomenon


Museum of Education

(What I talk about when I talk about Việt Nam)

Installer’s Note: This entry will be revised. 


For me Trịnh Công Sơn is more about poetry. His poems tell very sad stories, and when quiet, they are more enlightening than gloomy.

Schafer (2007, p. 603) writes: Văn Ngọc stresses Sơn’s new approach to lyrics, which, he says, were not restricted to the function of telling a story with a beginning and an end. “They had a life completely independent, free. They could evoke beautiful images, impressions, and brief thoughts that sometimes reached the level of surrealism; and between them sometimes there was no logical relationship at all” (2001, 27). Sơn designed his songs to make an end run around the conscious intellect in order to reach the heart directly. To achieve this effect, he used the same techniques employed by many modern poets, which is why he is so frequently called a poet, not a mere songwriter. These techniques…

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