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This facing-page edition makes translations of over 150 poems of contemporary Chinese poet/author Huang Xiang available to the Western world for the first time in a collection. Since he is subject to a long-term ban against publication of any of his writings in his native China, only a few of his poems have ever been read and translated in the West. A member of the proscribed classes by virtue of his birth, he was subjected to harassment, imprisonment and brutality from his childhood until his departure from China in 1997. His writings have already gained high and deserved respect in the small scholarly circle that is familiar with them in China and the West. The book has an extensive bibliography listing all books published by Huang Xiang outside China, plus many that refer to him or quote his works, as well as general works on Chinese poetry. The long biographical introduction will be of great value to scholars who wish to pursue the origins of Underground Literature in which Huang is a major figure, and the later Menglung “misty, obscure”) poetry that followed it. The poems themselves are in clear recitable English. The book’s composition, with the original Chinese on the left and English on the right, matched line for line, offers an excellent pedagogical tool, as well as a subject for study by critics, commentators, and students of language. The book also includes a section of personal photographs, and a foreword by Huang Xiang.


“The poems … range from lyrical descriptions of landscape, to expressions of love, to philosophical meditations, to the explicitly political….Many of the poems translated here were written, moreover, in response to specific historical events – the Cultural Revolution; the deaths of Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong; the democracy movements of 1979, 1986, and 1989; and even the 9-11 attacks in New York City….Emerson’s book helps fill in the still-evolving picture of the underground literature scene during the Cultural Revolution….Emerson’s book is a labor of love. And readers should be grateful to him for telling us the story of Huang Xiang and for making his poetic cries of the heart available in English AND Chinese.” – Kirk A. Denton, The Ohio State University, Editor, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

“Huang Xiang is one of China’s most courageous and romantic poets. The underground masterpieces he wrote during the darkest days of Maoism have lit a fire in the belly of China’s poets and freedom fighters ever since. Even in exile, he remains indomitable, writing poetry and stirring his fellow countrymen to achieve their highest ideals of freedom. The poetry is beautiful as well as stirring. His visions of fully unleashed human and natural energy are powerful enough to unsettle your sleep.” – Jeffrey C. Kinkley, St. John’s University, New York

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword: I Live to Write Poetry (Huang Xiang)
Preface (Jeffrey C. Kinkley)
Introduction (Andrew G. Emerson)
Poet’s Life – Hero’s Life (Andrew G. Emerson)
The Poems
• 1962-1979 Confusion
• 1980-1987 Roaring Blood
• 1987-1990 In Jail
• 1990-1993 Out of Jail
• 1993-2003 Sojourn Abroad

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