Snow 1945

  • Timothy Cheek
Part of the The Bedford Series in History and Culture book series (BSHC)


This is Mao’s most famous poem, written in the Yan’an area of northwest China near the Yellow River, a dry and rugged region. Here Mao has adopted the voice of classical Chinese poetry, which is short and lyrical. The first stanza should be read like a Chinese painting—dabs of ink outlining the mental picture of Mao viewing this grandiose landscape. The second stanza reveals Mao’s feelings. He stands where great emperors of the past have stood, both literally by the Yellow River and figuratively on the verge of taking power His conclusion is resolutely revolutionary: “For men of vision/We must seek among the present generation.” Written after his consolidation of power inside the CCP, as the Japanese war effort was flagging and the CCP “base areas” were growing, this poem conveys his confidence and elation.

Copyright information

© Bedford/St. Martin’s 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Cheek
    • 1
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaCanada

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