Donny Trương


Physician-poet Cao Nguyên, the author of Thơ Mưa (Rain Poems), follows up with badòngthơ (Three-Line Poems). The form for badòngthơ is similar to the Japanese haiku, but Cao Nguyên also plays with three, five, and seven syllables.

As someone who is rediscovering his native language, I appreciate Cao Nguyên’s simple wordplay. As a designer, I appreciate his generous use of white space. When he asked me to bring badòngthơ to the web, I jumped at the opportunity.

responsive screenshots

Since the web has plenty of white space, I decided to keep it to one page. Readers just scroll to read the next poem. For the book title, I kept the web version the same as the print version, which is set in SVN Conqueror Didot, a Vietnamese-supported version of AW Conqueror, designed by Jean François Porchez.

In the print version, the body text is set in Microsoft Sans Serif, which is clean and legible. The Vietnamese diacritics for Microsoft Sans Serif, however, are a bit off, especially the circumflex-acute and the circumflex-grave combinations. For the web version, I set the main text in Inclusive Sans, designed by Olivia King, instead.

The website started off with 15 poems. The print version has 119 poems. If you can read Vietnamese or want to learn Vietnamese, you will enjoy these delightful poems. Go ahead, give badòngthơ a read.