Poetry of New China (1949-1966)

Lijun Bi, Xiangshu Fang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This research offers new reading and in-depth analysis of Chinese poetry from 1949 to 1966. It argues that in this socialist era, individualism was no longer the central concern of poetry, and subjectivity had to submit to the collective consciousness, gradually succumbing to the national chant of the communist rhetoric. Nevertheless, this research also argues that, whilst many poets had a firm faith in the inevitable proletarian victory, i.e. the realisation of communism, to be concerned with the suffering of the common people and the fate of the nation was also part of Chinese cultural and intellectual traditions. Poets were considered more sensitive than ordinary folks to social issues, and were traditionally meant to provide a voice for the afflicted, the poor, the weak and the voiceless. Some examples analysed in this chapter evidence the resilience of the spirit to maintain sanity, scepticism and critical thinking in a crazy environment of fanaticism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Modern Chinese Literature
EditorsMing Dong Gu
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315626994
ISBN (Print)9781138647541
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • modern Chinese literature
  • Socialist Realism
  • new reading
  • in-depth analysis
  • power of imagination

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