Poetry Corner: Trotsky Visits the Far East by Mao

Ben Lunn, member of the Communist Party’s Glasgow Branch,
Composer & Conductor

Mao Tse-Tung is a man who needs little introduction, especially to members of the Young Communist League. However, despite being a remarkable leader and philosopher, his poetry is often overlooked. This is partly because many pass it off as ‘poetic politics’, namely just a fruity disguise of his politics. Others simply ignore it because they allege he was an ‘authoritarian’, so they would not demean themselves by pandering to it. 

Obviously, we as communists know more about the reality of Mao and his incredible impact on China. We should also take a moment to indulge on this poem written in 1959, around the time of the Sino-Soviet Split. In it, we can really see the sense of humour in Mao, and also how he has little time for the controversial leader that was Nikita Khrushchev.

Mao Zeodong, 1893 – 1976


Trotsky came to the Far East,
hero of neither war nor peace.
Even Lenin’s teachings have been dropped
but Governor Ye deserved detention in Dajiu Peak.
Though in himself he’s just a crazy wasp,
he acts towards his neighbour as a mantis out to block a chariot.
Everybody speaks well of the West,
whereas in the Divine Land only idiots emerge.

Mao Tse-Tung

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