Mao Zedong: Loushan Pass

Loushan Pass

– to the tune of Yi Qin E

(February 1935)



Fierce the west wind,

Wild geese cry under the frosty morning moon.

Under the frosty morning moon

Horses’ hooves clattering,

Bugles sobbing low.

Idle boast, the strong pass is a wall of iron,

With firm strides we are crossing its summit.

We are crossing its summit,

The rolling hills sea-blue,

The dying sun blood-red.



Mao Zedong (1893-1976) tried to exemplify the well-rounded

Revolutionary, and so composed poetry in the moment – even while

leading “The Long March” over the mountain pass at Loushan.

The poem above was written in a type of verse called “ci”,

a form established during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.)

The “ci”  poem was always written to be sung – and with a

particular tune in mind.

Mao as poet wrote in other classical verse forms as well

– like “lu” and “jue”, both of the “shi” form –

while proclaiming heroically his subject matter.

“Shi”, a classical Chinese verse form with strict tonal patterns and

rhyme schemes, also dates back to the Tang Dynasty.