Jump to content
Poetry Magnum Opus

Shanghai, 1927


Recommended Posts

This world, awash with words,

Offers no peace: the lease

On the life of an orphan child

Runs out in sixteen weeks.


That’s when the boys die.

Girls tend to last a little longer.


We are fortunate people, dear friends.

The gods indeed have smiled upon us.

We can afford to throw a few coins

To Sister Wu-Jen, help her with Relief.


Relaxations. Chuckles.

Good-natured rooting around in pockets.

The clink of copper and silver.

Catholics, are they? – Sorry?


Well, are they Catholics?

I’d rather give money to the C of E.

But the C of E, Tusker,

Does nothing.


Don’t like damn’d Jesuits.

They are not Jesuits, Tusker.

Papists. Same bloody thing.

Matter of principle.


The children are Chinese.

They are starving.

Do you think they worry

About the 39 Articles?


Should do, if they want my money.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The international business community was largely unaffected by the massacre which was a Kuomintang purge of communists, but the times were unsettled and became more so in the following decade. Many Chinese lived in appalling conditions while the well-off Europeans living in palatial mansions affected to ignore the misery all around them. This callousness and indifference lies at the heart of the poem.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David W. Parsley

Devastating indictment. And all it does is tell the truth. And I have to ask myself what qualifications do we now demand of the needy.


- Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larsen M. Callirhoe

reminds me of the movie "'sand pebbles" which depocts the growing communist party rally the youth. go figure that communism would take grasp of russia and china. with china's need for oil growing they might become a democratic societry. hey maybe the world of a upotic uphorea type society is not to far off yhe horizon.




victor michael

Larsen M. Callirhoe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.