The Last Lyric (Paperback)
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Poetry. Asian Studies. Translated from the Chinese by Yunte Huang in a bilingual edition. In his poem, "Poetry Cannot Fix You" Yu Xinqiao asserts that poetry can fix many things, just not the self or a loved one ("you"). But in an address before the Dalai Lama that appears at the end of this book, ably translated by scholar and poet, Yunte Huang, he argues for poetry's moral power: "In contemporary China, I must emphasize another aspect of poetry, that is, we must rebuild a hometown of justice and a homeland of conscience grounded in poetry. Poetry must shoulder moral obligations, must use its beauty and power like that of a revengeful goddess and intervene into the public arena that is becoming more and more ruthless and barbaric." Born in 1968, Yu was imprisoned for eight years in China after calling in 1993 for a "Chinese Renaissance Movement." His poems seem deliberately understated, full of unexpected reversals: "The dead are mourning the living;" and, because poetry can't fix you, "That's why I love poetry all my life." THE LAST LYRIC presents Yu's work in Chinese and in English. Readers of English can now discover why Yu's work is so popular (and so distrusted by the regime) in China.