Poets should establish through their works, a world of his own, a genuine and independent world, an upright world, a world of justice and humanity
There are many truths in the world, and many of them are contradictory. We should allow other peoples truths to existthis is the premise on which our own truth can exist. Among poets there must be communication, understanding, tolerance and learning from one another.
Poetry is faced with a crisis in form; the sale of old techniques are so far from being sufficient, while devices such as metaphor, symbol, synaesthesia, shifts in point of view and perspective, interrupted sequences in time and space etc., offer us new prospects. I try to introduce in my own poetry the technique of film montage, and by creating juxtaposed images and changes in speed, I want to arouse peoples imaginations to fill in the substantial gaps between the words. In addition, I am also deeply concerned about poetrys capacity, the subconscious and the capture of instantaneous impressions.
"National character" is not a simple stamp one can impress on poetry but an excavation and portrayal of our complex national spirit.
Poets must not exaggerate their own function, but even less should they understand themselves. They should engage themselves in arduous and significant creative work, bringing all that is good and beautiful into peoples hearts. Perhaps the whole difficulty is only a question of time, and time is always just.
Notes From the City of the Sun: Poems by Bei Dao, 1983
A slightly different translation