5 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2019
    1. I want to tell the poet

      I think by invoking the poet to be the individual to relay this story is representative of poetry's ability to convey strong emotions unlike a historical account, which can sometimes make things very de-personalized. When reading accounts of mass trauma, poetry of witness is a powerful primary source to have access to.

    2. If it were not for the emperor,caring for his children

      The parental relationship between this poet and the emperor implied by this line is powerful I think, and it suggests that the hierarchy of rule in China was based on a sense of personal connection to those in power. I would like to learn more about how common people perceived their rulers in times of crisis like this.

    3. In matters of life and death, who gives a second thought to blood and kin?

      I took an English/POSC class about the effects of genocide and mass violence on human psyches and the literature that comes from survivors of trauma, and this line reminds me of the unimaginable devastation that people in Hiroshima felt after the Atomic Bomb. This loss of connection between kin was common as people tried to rebuild and put their lives back together; especially with the issue radiation poisoning. These types of poetry of witness are important accounts of the human reaction to mass trauma.

    4. seizes their wealth

      What material wealth did the commoners have to seize? Was this a time of looting by government officials from the laboring classes? Does this tend to happen more often than not in times of crisis?

    5. ne thousand li,

      One li is a unit of measurement that has had fluctuating values but is understood to be about one-third of one imperial mile, now formalized as one half-kilometer. One thousand li would equal 333 1/3 miles of land. For reference, the state of Colorado is about 380 miles on its longest side. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_(unit)#cite_note-Winborn1994-1)