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 MAO TSETUNG: TWO POEMS

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TWO POEMS

Source: Peking Review, No. 1, January 2, 1976
Transcribed by www.wengewang.org





MAO TSETUNG





Chingkangshan Revisited
— to the tune of Shui Tiao Keh Tou
May 1965

I have long aspired to reach for the clouds,
Again I come from afar
To climb Chingkangshan, our old haunt
Past scenes are transformed,
Orioles sing, swallows swirl.
Streams purl everywhere
And the road mounts skyward.
Once Huangyangchieh is passed
No other perilous place calls for a glance.

Wind and thunder are stirring.
Flags and banners are flying
Wherever men live.
Thirty-eight years are fled
With a mere snap of the fingers.
We can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven
And seize turtles deep down in the Five Seas:
We'll return amid triumphant song and laughter.
Nothing is hard in this world if you dare to scale the heights





Two Birds: A Dialogue
—    to the tune of Nien Nu Chiao

Autumn 1965

The roc wings fanwise,
Soaring ninety thousand li
And rousing a raging cyclone.
The blue sky on his back, he looks down
To survey Man's world with its towns and cities.
Gunfire licks the heavens,
Shells pit the earth.
A sparrow in his bush is scared stiff.
"This is one hell of a mess!
Oh I want to flit and fly away."
"Where, may I ask?"
The sparrow replies,
"To a jewelled palace in elfland's hills.
Don't you know a triple pact was signed
Under the bright autumn moon two years ago?
There'll be plenty to eat,
Potatoes piping hot
With beet thrown in."*
"Stop your windy nonsense!
Look you, the world is being turned upside down"

* This refers to "goulash." — P.R. Ed.

(Originally published in the January 1976 issue of the journal "Shikan" [Poetry])
  
  
  

 
 
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