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The Boy Who Catches Wasps: Selected Poetry of Duo Duo

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Duo Duo began to write poetry in the early 1970s when the Cultural Revolution was still in full swing. He was obliged to write clandestinely, never imagining he would have readers. He continued to write throughout the 1980s, publishing in samizdat publications, and then more openly as the authorities relaxed their grip. Duo Duo left China for a reading tour of England June Duo Duo began to write poetry in the early 1970s when the Cultural Revolution was still in full swing. He was obliged to write clandestinely, never imagining he would have readers. He continued to write throughout the 1980s, publishing in samizdat publications, and then more openly as the authorities relaxed their grip. Duo Duo left China for a reading tour of England June 4th 1989, the morning after the Tiananmen massacre that he had witnessed. Duo Duo’s poetic vision embraces a historical and political vision that is much more diverse, more global than that circumscribed by the confines of the last third of China’s twentieth century. The context of China, Duo Duo’s lived experience, is necessarily present in the poet’s imaginary, but it is diffused in a world-view that embraces all of modern humanity’s dilemmas, our increasing separation from nature, and our alienation from one another. The exile, like the hybrid and other "in between" subjects, writes of China with the benefit of critical distance, but also writes with an exceptional perspective of wherever he finds himself. Before leaving China, Duo Duo worked as a journalist. His writing has been widely translated and published throughout the world, including two small selections of his work—in English—published in the UK and Canada. Generally associated with the other menglong (ambiguist) poets, such as Bei Dao and Yang Lian. Duo Duo currently lives and teaches in the Netherlands. Gregory Lee currently lives in France and teaches at l’Université Jean Moulin Lyon III. He has also taught at the Universities of Cambridge, London, Chicago and Hong Kong. His translations of Duo Duo and other Chinese poets have appeared in numerous publications, including Fissures: Chinese Writing Today (Zephyr Press), and Abandoned Wine (Wellsweep Press). Also available Fissures: Chinese Writing Today TP $14.95, 0-939010-59-3 • CUSA


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Duo Duo began to write poetry in the early 1970s when the Cultural Revolution was still in full swing. He was obliged to write clandestinely, never imagining he would have readers. He continued to write throughout the 1980s, publishing in samizdat publications, and then more openly as the authorities relaxed their grip. Duo Duo left China for a reading tour of England June Duo Duo began to write poetry in the early 1970s when the Cultural Revolution was still in full swing. He was obliged to write clandestinely, never imagining he would have readers. He continued to write throughout the 1980s, publishing in samizdat publications, and then more openly as the authorities relaxed their grip. Duo Duo left China for a reading tour of England June 4th 1989, the morning after the Tiananmen massacre that he had witnessed. Duo Duo’s poetic vision embraces a historical and political vision that is much more diverse, more global than that circumscribed by the confines of the last third of China’s twentieth century. The context of China, Duo Duo’s lived experience, is necessarily present in the poet’s imaginary, but it is diffused in a world-view that embraces all of modern humanity’s dilemmas, our increasing separation from nature, and our alienation from one another. The exile, like the hybrid and other "in between" subjects, writes of China with the benefit of critical distance, but also writes with an exceptional perspective of wherever he finds himself. Before leaving China, Duo Duo worked as a journalist. His writing has been widely translated and published throughout the world, including two small selections of his work—in English—published in the UK and Canada. Generally associated with the other menglong (ambiguist) poets, such as Bei Dao and Yang Lian. Duo Duo currently lives and teaches in the Netherlands. Gregory Lee currently lives in France and teaches at l’Université Jean Moulin Lyon III. He has also taught at the Universities of Cambridge, London, Chicago and Hong Kong. His translations of Duo Duo and other Chinese poets have appeared in numerous publications, including Fissures: Chinese Writing Today (Zephyr Press), and Abandoned Wine (Wellsweep Press). Also available Fissures: Chinese Writing Today TP $14.95, 0-939010-59-3 • CUSA

39 review for The Boy Who Catches Wasps: Selected Poetry of Duo Duo

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Pogan

    Another book of poetry that I just finished last night after slowly reading over the past few weeks, a poem or two at a time. This is a compilation of selected poems from the 70's through the 90's and reveals a very stark change in Duo's poetry from his early days in China compared to after his emigration to the West. His earlier work has a very dark feel to it, as shown in these two short examples: Era "An oppressive era has revived The sound of gunfire faintly shakes the earth War, stubbornly recl Another book of poetry that I just finished last night after slowly reading over the past few weeks, a poem or two at a time. This is a compilation of selected poems from the 70's through the 90's and reveals a very stark change in Duo's poetry from his early days in China compared to after his emigration to the West. His earlier work has a very dark feel to it, as shown in these two short examples: Era "An oppressive era has revived The sound of gunfire faintly shakes the earth War, stubbornly reclaims the land Livestock is requisitioned, peasants return from the fields Toting ploughs dripping with blood" Looking Out From Death "Looking out from death you will always see Those whom all your life you ought not to see You can always be buried somewhere as you please Sniff around as you please, then bury yourself there In a place that makes them hate They shovel dirt in your face You should thank them. And thank them again Your eyes will never again see your enemy Then from death will come When they are consumed by enmity, a scream Although you will never be able to hear again Now that is the absolute scream of anguish!" The following poem was written in 1994, after his emigration: Returning "Recognizing the ocean from the deck In an instant, make out its enormous peregrinations On the sea recognize a plough, in an instant Making out the courage we had At each instant, only coming from Each solitary fear Forehead against forehead, standing on the threshold Saying goodbye, in an instant five years have past Hand tightly grasping hand, saying let go In an instant, the sand in the shoes has come entirely from the ocean Just now, by candlelight learnt to read In an instant, the weight of the backpack lessened Just now, while swallowing coarse bread felt In an instant, the water in the bottle had been returned to the ocean Stared at by an ox from the home country, saying Make me weep, in an instant I weep But whichever way I go In an instant, it turns to drifting Scrubbing an ox's back benumbed by a clarinet Remembering, in an instant has found its source Words, in an instant make their way back to dictionaries But within words, navigation Renders those who have not yet begun navigating Forever--all incapable of returning"

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    是 我爱你 我永不收回 shi wo ai ni wo yong bu shou hui Best of the "Misty" poets of the 80's. Symbolism and beautiful, bizarre imagery. Hope my Chinese is good enough one day to really be able to read and understand the original. 是 我爱你 我永不收回 shi wo ai ni wo yong bu shou hui Best of the "Misty" poets of the 80's. Symbolism and beautiful, bizarre imagery. Hope my Chinese is good enough one day to really be able to read and understand the original.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Frank

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dr Soheyla

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

  6. 4 out of 5

    Conrado

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ying

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yi Yu

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy Lantrip

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karolina

  12. 4 out of 5

    Y. Ryan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Ischy

  14. 4 out of 5

    James

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharlene

  17. 5 out of 5

    Flora

  18. 5 out of 5

    LA

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mason Parker

  20. 5 out of 5

    F. Rzicznek

  21. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Chuc

  22. 5 out of 5

    Saryuna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brock

  24. 4 out of 5

    Raven

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jonas Dornelles

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tapani

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vitt

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jur

  29. 5 out of 5

    Härjapealane

  30. 5 out of 5

    S

  31. 4 out of 5

    Steven Chang

  32. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  33. 5 out of 5

    Sippy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  35. 5 out of 5

    Blake Waters

  36. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

  37. 5 out of 5

    thomas

  38. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  39. 4 out of 5

    Mark

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