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POEMS

(Compiled by Adán Griego, co-editor of the Presidential Lectures Web Site)

About Poetry

From Landscape Over Zero

From Old Snow


About Poetry

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 people’s truths to exist—this 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 people’s imaginations to fill in the substantial gaps between the words. In addition, I am also deeply concerned about poetry’s 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 people’s 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




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