CHINA POETRY: A MAO ZEDONG PRIMER
by Zhou Wenjing, Joseph Janeti, Zhou Chunlai
Mainly known throughout the world as a military and political strategist, Mao Zedong was also an accomplished calligrapher and widely respected poet. His writing sampled a variety of China’s poetry modes. They make use of different of its line lengths, forms, styles, meter and word play.
As activities regularly took him back and forth across China’s sprawling landscape, many of its natural beauties came to find expression in Mao’s writing. Moreover, a side of him not usually detailed to the public, Mao was a devoted husband, father, and intimate friend, frequently therefore writing of departure and arrival, feeling and aspiration, love and loss and life.
This little primer introduces Western readers to a fascinating side of this complex leader, presenting a dozen of Mao’s most highly regarded poems. It also includes Mao’s calligraphic rendering of them. As an extra side advantage, these are accompanied by printed versions of the poem, in Chinese. And finally, the book presents a number of photographs of locations Mao mentions in the poems, places he sometimes even notes being at while in the middle of writing.