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Phra Sunthorn Vohara aka Sunthorn Phu (26 June 1786–1855) is Thailand’s best-known poet and most celebrated as the great poet of Rattanakosin Era. He was born four years after Rattanakosin was established. His career as a royal poet commenced in the reign of King Rama II. When King Rama II passed away, Sunthorn Phu resigned and retreated to monkhood for 20 years before resuming late in King Rama III’s reign as a royal scribe. In the reign of King Rama IV, he was promoted to be the director of department of royal scribes, which was the last post he held in the court, and with which he earned the title ‘Phra’.
Sudthorn Phu was renowned for his literary talent in composing verse. His conventions in writing the tale-poem and journey-poem (Nirat), popular to present day. His canonical works include Nirat Phukaothong (a collection of poems depicting his journey to the Golden Mountain), Nirat Suphan (depicting his journey to Suphanburi Province) and Phra Apaimanee Saga. The Phra Apaimanee Saga, the most memorable and celebrated among Thai people, presents his ingenious literary skills, knowledge and attitudes towards human natures to a profound extent.
In 1986, the 200th anniversary of his birth, the poet was honored by UNESCO a world poet. As of late, his literary works have been adapted through various media such as comics, films and songs. His statue was erected in Klaeng District, Rayong Province, the birth place of his father. His birthday has been declared to be Sunthorn Phu day, which is an important day for Thai literature.