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DESCRIPTIONContext for Misty poets. Credit to JXS
Post Cultural Revolution Chinese Poetry
The Misty PoetsShu Ting
The Misty Poets1979-1989Influenced by Western ideasChallenge Maoist ideasComment on political and social issuesCelebrate individualityOften write using obscure imagesMany were exiled after Tianaman Square
First some Historical ContextThe Cultural Revolution began in the summer
of 1966Students in Beijing formed into military
groups called Red GuardsSchools and colleges were closed so that the
curriculum could be re-written to make young people more aware of Communist ideas
The first aim was to get rid of all “capitalist” and “bourgeois” influences
Aims of the Cultural RevolutionThe Red Guards began a “Four Olds
Campaign” against Old cultureOld customsOld ideasOld habits
MethodsThere were huge paradesThere were attacks on anything which
seemed capitalist or bourgeoisPhysical attacks occurredMany works of art were destroyedPlaces were renamedMao said “to rebel is justified.”
The Red Guards ran wildBy 1967 law and order had broken downRed Guards began to fight among themselves
and against “reactionaries”It is estimated that 400,000 wee killed and
thousands more beaten, tortured or imprisoned
Mao was worshipped as a heroTeachers were attacked as being “too
ImpactYoung people had missed education Industrial output had fallenFarming was disruptedOld culture was lost or destroyedMany intellectuals had been persecuted or
What is the significance of this?We are studying a literature course. How will
this information help us understand the misty poets?
Discuss in pairs?
First ImpressionsWhat is your favourite pair of lines?Why?Action Activity
What imagery do you notice?What is its impact?
How does this poem relate to the background context?
Structure and Jintishi PoetryDeveloped in the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD)Strict structural features (equivalent to a
8 Lines divided into 4 couplets Each couplet presents parallel ideas from a
contrasting perspective with similar grammatical patterns
Theme was often history or politics
Sleep Black Prays
Lovely Rose (v)
Li-Young LeeFather was a Doctor for Chairman MaoExiled to IndonesiaLater moved to AmericaWrites in English
What’s it all about?百合Beauty?Sensuality?Death?Significance of the layout?Use of language?Differences between stanza one and two?