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It is believed that Ho Xuan Huong wrote "Spring-Watching Pavilion" sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s in her native Vietnam. Her poems were copied by hand for almost a century, and were originally published in Vietnamese in a woodblock edition in 1909. However, they were not published as type until 2000, when John Balaban translated them into English and published them in the United States in Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong. This publication was historic for many reasons. It was the first time Ho Xuan Huong's poems had been published in the United States and it was the first time they had been published in English. Perhaps most importantly, Balaban and his publisher included versions of the poems in both English and Vietnamese, as well as the original version in Nom—the nearly extinct ideographic Vietnamese script in which Ho Xuan Huong wrote her poetry. Spring Essence was the first publication in history to print Nom as type, and its publication was lauded by scholars, popular readers, and even President Clinton, who commented on the cultural importance of the book at his own historic visit to Vietnam in 2000.