Sparks in the Dark
The Metaphors of Light in menglong Poetry
Modern and contemporary Chinese poetry often shows predilection for images of light and its sources. In many cases these images are clear metaphors of the poet and his/her art. Drawing from the original texts of a number of menglong poets, some interpretative suggestions concerning the use of these images will be provided with the help of selected critical readings. The aim is to try to demonstrate how these images of light convey an ideal of poetry as pure and aloof from worldliness, and emphasise the poet’s commitment to his/her art and to mankind. The analysis of these metaphors will lead to a more general reflection on the guiding and redeeming role of poetry, and on the renewal of poetic diction in the period immediately following the Cultural Revolution.