Thursday, December 9, 2010

New verse by jailed Chinese poet is published in the US

Poetry by imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo (lee-OO' show-BOH') is coming out in the U.S, according to the Associated Press.

Graywolf Press announced Thursday that "June Fourth Elegies" will be published in 2012. It is a bilingual edition of verse by the 54-year-old Chinese dissident and literary critic.

Liu is serving an 11-year prison sentence for subversion handed down last year after he co-authored an appeal for human rights and political reform.

Needless to say his book hasn't been published in China. It refers to the 1989, suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations at Tiananmen Square.

Here's an extract from his writing.

Experiencing Death

From a wisp of smoke to a little heap of ash
I’ve drained the drink of the martyrs, sense spring’s
about to break into the brocade-brilliance of myriad flowers

Deep in the night, empty road
I’m biking home
I stop at a cigarette stand
A car follows me, crashes over my bicycle
some enormous brutes seize me
I’m handcuffed eyes covered mouth gagged
thrown into a prison van heading nowhere

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