Enforced Rustication in the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Poems
During China's Cultural Revolution, millions of middle school and high school graduates, called zhiqing, were sent to the countryside to receive reeducation from peasants. They dug the earth daily, with deep conviction that they would play an important role in the transformation of rural China. Jianqing Zheng's rusticated years were central to his poetic imagination in this collection.
"The poems in this collection reveal a complex narrative of China's Cultural Revolution and its Sent-Down-Youth. While each poem stands alone--graced with stunning descriptions ("At fish-belly dawn"), images ("hands fluttering / like butterflies on cotton fluffs"), and all too human struggles ("I am tired of being tired; / of being told what to do")--together they tell of a larger history."--Rita Costello
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