Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Memories of Youth

I remember that my friend Eddie Cullen had a copy of Phil Ochs In Concert (Elektra Records, 1966). In the liner notes, Ochs reprinted eight poems by Mao Tse Tung with the question, "Is This the Enemy?"

I thought it was hilarious when Eddie's sister Gina (or was it Ellen?) penned "Yes" on the album in answer to the question.

Here's one of Mao's poems (mentioned today on C. Dale Young's blog)which also appeared on the album:

CHANGSHA (Memories of Youth)

The immense river is a transparent green
and a hundred boats are racing by.
The eagles strike against the sky,
The fish swim in the shallows;
In the freezing air all creatures strive for freedom.
Alone in the desolate vastness,
I ask of the ageless earth:
"Who is the ruler of the universe?"
I remember a hundred friends coming here
during the crowded, eventual years;
All of them young and upright,
Gleaming with brilliance,
true to the scholar's spirit.
I remember how vivid they were
As they gazed upon rivers and mountains:
The Chinese earth gave strength to their words,
And they regarded as dung the ancient feudal lords.
Do you remember
How in midstream we struck out at the water,
And the waves dashed against the speeding ships?

-Mao Tse Tung


Blogger Ben Winter said...

thanks for that tidbit--quite the valid perspective he has going there...hard to believe what he did with it though...

3:27 AM  
Blogger ej said...

It was Gina. And there were times when I thought William Epson (Mr. Four Different Types of Ambiguity himself) wrote like this.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Macy Swain said...

I miss your blog, Greg -- and I hope you're doing okay. Having been sick a lot last winter, I know what it's like to sink out of sight. I just wanted to say my thoughts are with you.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Matt Rutchik said...

Hi Greg,

My name is Matt. I came to your blog while searching online for the text to Robert Hass' "Sonnet." Your site was one of the first hits because of your blog title and your previous post on Hass' delightful little book of poems, Praise, which I prefer to Field Guide. I found the proper text elsewhere.

I'm posting now because, after I read your post and reread "Picking Blackberries With A Friend Who Has Been Reading Jacques Lacan" for god knows what time, I noticed your profile, read it, and I am asking for advice. I'm sending out graduate school applications now for both Law School and English/Creative Writing; most of these applications are for Law School. One application is for both and, if I receive an admissions offer to this school, I will almost certainly accept, unless some other school propositions me with an offer that removes important burdens from my thoughts.

There are academic advisors for me to speak with, especially those who wrote references for me. But none of them hold degrees in both areas I am interested in - Law and Writing - jobs in those fields - Counsel, Publishing, and Teaching. If you have time, and by no means do I expect you to, please write back to me and tell me about your educational background, finding work in all three areas either contract or part/full-time, and your daily routine. Of course I would be glad to read anything else you think is relevant. My email address is matt.rutchik@utoronto.ca

2:29 PM  
Blogger 後來 said...

keep ..sharing.. with us, please....I <..will... waiting.. your up date.. everyday!!.. Have.. a ...ni

4:44 PM  
Blogger 手機 said...

Everything comes if a man will only wait........................................

2:27 PM  

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