A timeless, visionary collection of poems from one of China's most acclaimed poets-now available in English for the first time in a generation and featuring a foreword by his son, contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei
One of the most influential poets in Chinese history, Ai Qing is mostly unknown to Western readers, but his work has shaped the nature of poetry in China for decades. Born between the fall of imperial Manchurian rule and the establishment of the Communist People's Republic, Ai Qing was at one time an intimate of Mao Zedong. He would eventually fall out with the leader and be sentenced to hard labor during the Cultural Revolution, when he was exiled to the remote part of the country known as "Little Siberia" with his family, including his son, Ai Weiwei.
In his work, Ai Qing tells the story of a China convulsing in change, leaving behind a legacy of feudalism and imperialism but uncertain what the future will hold. Breaking with traditional forms of Chinese poetry, Ai Qing innovatively adapted free verse, writing with a simple sincerity in clear lines that could be understood by everyday readers. Selected Poems of Ai Qing is an extraordinary collection that traces the powerful inner life of this influential poet who crafted poems of protest, who longed for a newer, happier age, and who wrote with a profound lyricism that reaches deep into the heart of the reader.
About the Author
Ai Qing is regarded as one of the finest modern Chinese poets, whose free verse was influential in the development of new poetry in China.
Ai Weiwei is one of the world's most important living artists. Born in 1957, he lives in Cambridge, UK.
Allan H. Barr is the author of a study in Chinese of a literary inquisition in the early Qing dynasty, Jiangnan yijie: Qing ren bixia de Zhuangshi shi'an, and the translator of several books by contemporary Chinese authors, including Yu Hua's China in Ten Words and Han Han's This Generation. He teaches Chinese at Pomona College in California.