Remembering Tiananmen Square

3 thoughts on “Remembering Tiananmen Square”

  1. I don’t suppose you have any poems about the tank man, preferably by someone Chinese, perhaps even someone from within the Square itself?
    Thanks a lot

    1. I don’t know of any poem specifically about the Tank Man. The closest I guess is Tiananmen by James Fenton:

      Tianamen
      Is broad and clean
      And you can’t tell
      Where the dead have been
      And you can’t tell
      What happened then
      And you can’t speak
      Of Tianamen.

      You must not speak.
      You must not think.
      You must not dip
      Your brush in ink.
      You must not say
      What happened then,
      What happened there.
      What happened there
      In Tiananmen.

      The cruel men
      Are old and deaf
      Ready to kill
      But short of breath
      And they will die
      Like other men
      And they’ll lie in state
      In Tianamen.

      They lie in state.
      They lie in style.
      Another lie’s
      Thrown on the pile,
      Thrown on the pile
      By the cruel men
      To cleanse the blood
      From Tianamen.

      Truth is a secret.
      Keep it dark.
      Keep it dark.
      In our heart of hearts.
      Keep it dark
      Till you know when
      Truth may return
      To Tiananmen.

      Tiananmen
      Is broad and clean
      And you can’t tell
      Where the dead have been
      And you can’t tell
      When they’ll come again.
      They’ll come again
      To Tiananmen.

      Hong Kong, 15 June 1989
      Written in haste and in anger within days of the massacre, and later included in Fenton’s collection Out of Danger, which won the Whitbread Poetry Prize in 1994.

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