Memories of the Cultural Revolution: Poems

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University of Oklahoma Press, Nov 30, 2015 - Poetry - 128 pages
At once a work of narrative lyricism and an act of personal courage, this memoir in verse documents the human cost of a period of political turmoil in China’s recent past. Luo Ying—the pen name of Huang Nubo, a celebrated poet, Forbes billionaire, and mountain climber—draws readers into the depths of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) by rendering its defining moments in his life with devastating precision and clarity. The narrative poems that make up Memories of the Cultural Revolution combine the ardor of youthful experience with the cooler insight of mature reflection, offering a nuanced picture of life in the midst of historic change.

The “Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution” marked a critical passage on China’s road to modernity, as momentous for the world as it was for one boy caught up in its throes. In poetry that juxtaposes the political and the personal, the social and the individual, Luo Ying depicts a time when ultraleftist mass movements and factional struggles penetrated the deepest level of private daily life. In bleak yet vivid portraits of his mother, father, classmates, and coworkers, he reveals how the period indelibly marred him. “I am a red guard just as I always was,” he writes.

Giving voice to the inner life of a man haunted by his experiences, Memories of the Cultural Revolution bears witness to a traumatic time when ideology threatened to crush individuality. Luo Ying’s poetry stands as eloquent testimony to the power of the individual voice to endure in the face of dire social and historical circumstances.
 

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Contents

PREFATORY POEM
Oil Worker Huang Yubao
The Mango
The Blind Man and His Wife
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Luo Ying is founder and chairman of the Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group and director of the Chinese Poetry Institute of Peking University. He is author of several collections of poetry in Chinese.

Denis Mair has translated the work of numerous Chinese poets into English, including the volumes Reading the Times: Poems of Yan Zhi and Selected Poems by Mai Cheng.

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