Poets of the Chinese Revolution

Poets of the Chinese Revolution

Gregor Benton, Feng Chongyi, Chen Duxiu, Chen Yi, Mao Tse-Tung

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Description

How poetry and revolution meshed in Red China

The Chinese Revolution, which fought its way to power seventy years ago, was a complex and protracted event in which groups and individuals with different hopes and expectations for the Revolution competed, although in the end Mao came to rule over the others. Its veterans included many poets, four of whom feature in this anthology. All wrote in the classical style, but their poetry was no less diverse than their politics. Chen Duxiu, led China’s early cultural awakening before founding the Communist Party in 1921. Mao led the Party to power in 1949. Zheng Chaolin, Chen Duxiu’s disciple and, like him, a convert to Trotskyism, spent thirty-four years in jail, first under the Nationalists and then under their Maoist nemeses. The guerrilla leader Chen Yi wrote flamboyant and descriptive poems in mountain bivouacs or the heat of battle.

Poetry has played a different role in China, and in Chinese Revolution, from in the West—it is collective and collaborative. But in life, the four poets in this collection were entangled in opposition and even bitter hostility towards one another. Together, the four poets illustrate the complicated relationship between Communist revolution and Chinese cultural tradition.


Author

Gregor Benton:
Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China, 1934–1938 won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies’ prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi’s F: Hu Feng’s Prison Years won the English Pen Award.

Chongyi Feng is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China’s top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.


Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China, 1934–1938 won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies’ prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi’s F: Hu Feng’s Prison Years won the English Pen Award.

Chongyi Feng is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China’s top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.


Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China, 1934–1938 won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies’ prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi’s F: Hu Feng’s Prison Years won the English Pen Award.

Chongyi Feng is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China’s top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.


Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China, 1934–1938 won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies’ prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi’s F: Hu Feng’s Prison Years won the English Pen Award.

Chongyi Feng is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China’s top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.


Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. He has published many books on China and other subjects. His principal research areas are modern Chinese history, dissent under communism, and Chinese diaspora. His Mountain Fires: The Red Army’s Three-Year War in South China, 1934–1938 won several awards, including the Association of Asian Studies’ prize for the Best Book on Modern China. His translation of Mei Zhi’s F: Hu Feng’s Prison Years won the English Pen Award.

Chongyi Feng is Associate Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and adjunct Professor of History at China's Nankai University. His research focuses on intellectual and political development in modern and contemporary China, including the growth of rights consciousness and democratic forces. He has been named as one of China’s top hundred public intellectuals by several Chinese websites.

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