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About the book

Yellow Flower is a collection of 60 personal poems of Anhthao Bui, the Vietnamese American woman.    The book of poetry is divided into 10 themes containing the following subjects: Muse, Conflict, Loss, Love, Knowledge, America, family, students, Death, and Miscellaneous. Yellow Flower reveals Anhthao's secret life of inner struggles, conflict, and self-doubt. Although anger, sorrow, and regret are the major themes of Yellow Flower, some positive poems are full of hope, and appreciation about the United States and its people.

Yellow Flower is the book for those who are seeking reading emotional poetry.






Anhthao Bui cautiously entered my classroom of Steinbeck students, English 167. She had launched into an English major at San Jose State, a typically determined move by this Vietnamese immigrant, a woman with a mission. “I fell down the first time I was assigned to the English War/Considering I was an ordinary hero without armor,” she writes in a poem about her confrontations with language. Indeed, for anyone who knows Anhthao, her struggles to master and teach the English language have had the classical dignity of this poem that describes her assault. But Anhthao rearmed herself again and again, earning a degree, finding a job. She wrote for her classes, and she wrote for herself:

Collecting last breaths
Growing in obscurity
Conquering the ruin
A yellow flower
Emerges in a deep jungle
Radiates the world

Like that flower—and the title of this collection—Anhthao radiantly emerges here as a poet of great promise. This collection is characterized by the honesty which is always hers, “My poetry is written in/Tears and blood.” As she traces her passions and admits her loneliness or sense of failure, she reveals, if briefly, her interior landscapes.  And the poems change moods frequently, as she ranges over a broad poetic field: love, death, university libraries, family, job, America. What is revealed in these poems is an immigrant’s appreciation of this complex country: the dream seems more tangible when a newcomer embraces it, and American leaders more profound when seen through her eyes. Poignantly, her poems bear the stamp of her reading as an English major, both in epigraphs and in this, one of the loveliest in the collection, a Whitmanesque reflection.


A pair of white breasts
A pair of black breasts
A pair of small breasts
A pair of big breasts
A pair of short breasts
A pair of long breasts
A pair of firm breasts
A pair of wrinkled breasts
Bathe in the same spring
Blocked by many rocks
And green trees
What kind of women are they?
 They are not shameful
When men see their naked bodies
They do not fear danger
In a deep jungle

Anhthao’s poems bear the deep stamp of her gratitude and boundless generosity of spirit.

Shillinglaw, Susan, Professor
Department of English and Comparative Literature
San Jose State University


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     Saves my life
     Wins my death

     Heals my tattered wound
     Mends my broken heart


Melancholy sounds
In a quiet night
Taking me
To his room

Joy and pain
Tear my heart
Numb my cells
Torture my body
Chop me down
Into his bed

Haikus I

Among foreigners
Language and culture differ
I'm blind, deaf, and dumb

Melancholy tears
Fall on Shakespeare's masterpieces
Cloud men's loneliness

Anguish eats my flesh
Solitude swallows my blood
Fear hacks me to death

I am a phoenix
Death, rebirth—a life cycle
Crawl on a new path



America! America!
How do I love you?
I love you from the bottom of my heart
To the deep innermost of my spirit
I love you with all my vigor
My youth and my roots
To devote to the Torch of Liberty

America!  America!
How do I love you?
I love you with all my soul
Toward my dearest father
To glorify America
America! America!
How do I love you?
I love you from my first sight
To the end of my last breath
I love you through jealousy, struggle, and ecstasy
I love your brutality and magnificence
I love you with each heartbeat
From my melancholy to my bliss

America! America!
Why do I love you?
I love you:
The Paradise of Democracy
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
The wonderland of ethnic people
The rewarded world of diligent immigrants

America —the motherland of
Great Father Thomas Jefferson’s
Transcendence toward equal education
Gives me acknowledged wings
To discover a mysterious world
 To reach my literature dream
To praise America with verses



I have
No house
No car
I am the richest person
In the world

I live in a myriad of
Golden hearts

HATE I hate myself
I hate my strength
I hate my knowledge
I hate my virtues
I hate my generosity
I hate my distinctiveness
These merits
Make me struggle with





Dear Anhthao - 
I received your YELLOW FLOWER and am very, very impressed. As for the production, your cover and paper stock choices are excellent, the cover color superb, as is the obvious print quality. Although I'm not noted as a connoisseur of poetry, the charm of your language choices is evocative; your honesty unequivocal; and your sincerity beyond question. I'm predicting YELLOW FLOWER will have a long life and will provide clear evidence of the enormous promise beating within your winsome heart.  

Roland Cheek 
author, publisher 
journalist, radio show host

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