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The Rose of Time
Bei Dao, meaning “Northern Island” is the pen name of a Chinese poet, “Zhao Zhenkai”. He chose this pen because he belongs to the North and his preference for solitude. The poet is well known for his representation of a group of Chinese poets who wrote as a reaction to the restriction that was imposed by the Cultural Revolution. The group of poets is titled as, “Misty Poets”. “The Rose of Time” is one of his famous writings that highlighted certain major themes and issues. It is one of the most celebrated poems that is composed of certain arresting and mysterious images that turned out to layout a distinctive musical key. The rose of time is presented as an image of the inevitability of productivity and growth adhering to the roots of despair. He is also known as one of the representatives of the “Exiled poets”. The rose of time is a writing that acted as a curtain to the divisions in which human life is classified. There is an impression of consciousness, taking into account that language is used as a tool to solve new world’s problems. Bei Dao has indulged his ideas in shapes, taking into account that the poem is more like a collection of elliptical images that turn over the lathe of the human thought and planet. It is asserted that this poem is more like a reflection of the past that is achieved by revisiting the earlier landscapes of life. Poet scratches his old outline into the dirt and then readjusts the mask of his own face. There is a stream of humanity and refutation of myths that freed the stance of human story. There is an underlying impression of political change accompanied by elegant and intense impressionism.
The rose of time is constructed on the strong themes of sense of rootlessness, conformist society and disillusionment. The catch line of the poem is the echoes that enforce life. The stance of self-scrutiny and staginess of mirrors that lead to the transformation of ideas. There is an underlying approach of “Democracy Movement” that refers to the emotions and feeling of a layman. It is significant to note that the poem reflects the stance of reshaped governments, civilizations, traditions and other political scenarios that affect the lives of people in one way or other. The structure of poem highlights the alchemy of imaginations taking into account that each individual is in search of a truth that is actually believed by the society but hidden under the covers of the societal features. An analysis of the structure reveals that the poem flows in a systematic way accompanied by the flow of emotions and feelings that connect catch line to other and each thought to the next assumption. An evident example of this fact can be found in the second stanza where the poet explains the scene of sunset that is casual for our sights such as flying birds and then the approaching darkness.
It is significant to note that the structure of poem is more like a journey from life to death and how the poet coverts all the major themes of life such as trans of life, role of hardships and then the nature of life itself. Another example of this systematic structure is the last stanza where the bird of thought covers its journey from insight to the door of rebirth leading to the seas where everything dwells in depth. There is clear understanding of time, taking into account the passages that a human life has to cover in order to reach its destiny. Side by side, this universal truth is accompanied by the flashback of poet. It is significant to note that the poet focuses on the “desire of freedom” and the impression of unfulfilled expectations. Bei Dao treated this poem as a code that could convey the underlying feelings of a poet who has suffered exile as well as an unwanted revolution. There is a clear vision of the hampering that could lead to the existence of a layman’s life where there are a number of fears and tragic stories that added to the horizon of thought and broadened the vision of life.
The form of the poem also played a significant role in redefining it influence on the readers and its meaning taking into account that alliteration acted as a major stance of rhythm such as in the first line of poem, “when the watchman”. (Garner) The poets have used this technique in order to impart both intext and between the lines connectivity that can fulfill the aesthetic sense and appeal to the readers as well. The poet has also used rhythm as a tool that can connect the thoughts of poet in order to convey complete meaning, taking into consideration that there is an autonomous tone in the lyrics, paving the way for a musical essence. The text of the poem and poet are highly connected taking into account that the poet reflects his ideology of thought in the poem “The rose of time", taking into consideration what he thinks about his land.
It is asserted that poem also highlights the impression of elusive imagery and linguistic ambiguity that could highlight what it actually meant to be a survivor of the changing society and societal boundaries. The poem can also be treated as an expression of the fact that Bei used poetry for incorporating understanding and unity of political affairs. A dream time state can be inferred from the poetry, highlighting the idea that the text clearly reflects underlying nostalgia that shaped the writings of poet. Although the poetry seems much natural it is an impression of pessimism that the poet collected and felt during the course of events in his knife.
It is important to note that there is an essence of nightmarish that asserts the reality under the beauty of nature. An analysis of the poem reflects that poet has played with words in a highly artistic way, adhering to an equally artificial and natural way. Although the essence of imagery added to the aesthetic scene, side by the side there are several negative connotations that reflect the pessimistic attitude such as “seas” and “darkness”, taking into account that the idea of damp conditions is reflected. (Garner) Even the title of the poem is equally beautiful and brutal much like the thoughts of poet. Rose reflects the beauty of life but it is equally significant that rose presents the rebellious attitude of the poet to current happening because a rose is a flower that is soft in nature and it is equally beautiful but one can access a rose plant without thrones. It would not be wrong to say that the throne represents the brutality of time that has brought a number of changes to the world.
It is asserted that the idea of throne also reflects the poet’s ideology of democratic movement as well as the underlying revolution of Cultural Revolution that was a serious point of criticism for poet. it is also affirmative to say that the structure of poem reflects two stories, one of the sides is the beauty of nature where nature is captured in the nib of pen but on the other side, there is sheer loneliness and deprivation in the words. The use of words like knife, cry and conspiracy reflects how poet has used poetry as a major tool to address the flood of emotions that has brought great destruction to the emotions of the poet.
The theme of exile is also well suited taking into consideration the line, “you cross the bridge stepping in flute songs”. It is significant to note that the poet has assimilated all his life experiences in the poem in different words and connotations. All the events ranging from growing in the homeland to exile and the interference of external notions that hampered the original crux of life are expressed in a beautiful combination with the criticism of the writings of the poet. The theme of death is also presented in a unique form, associating it with the ideology of poet such as the fear of something that is evident and near to come.
“The rose of time” is not just poetry, in fact, it is the realistic and pictorial account of the scenarios that the poet has faced throughout his life. It is significant to note that there is no set dimension of the theme to which the poem is referred sill it is a universal account because all the events in the life are assembled and made part of the poetry. It is also important to note that each line is itself a story that reflects the idea of thoughts that are left unsaid in the flux of social associations and realms. In a nutshell, it can be highlighted that the underlying story of the poetry reflects the ideology that is hidden in the beauty of nature as well as the stance of revival that is only possible if thoughts are given the freedom to float and prevail.
Garner, Dwight. "The Reading Life: A Chinese Writer's Poetics, And Politics." ArtsBeat. N. p., 1266. Retrieved from https://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/the-reading-life-a-chinese-writers-poetics-and-politics/
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