Remembering Tiananmen Square: June Fourth Elegies

Petchary's Blog

A friend today shared some passages from a poem called “Suffocating City Square” from“June Fourth Elegies.” I have the book on my too-long, and rather muddled “Want To Read” list on GoodReads.

However, this book of poetry by Liu Xiaobo, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 for “his prolonged non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China,” is not going to escape me. Political poetry is always a difficult read, but I will try. I wrote a little bit about the poet that year.

Liu dedicated his Peace Prize to “the lost souls from the Fourth of June.” Liu was sentenced in 2009 to 11 years in prison on “inciting subversion” charges for his involvement with Charter ’08, a manifesto calling for political reforms in China. In 2017, he was transferred to hospital, where he died from cancer of the liver. A year after…

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