2011: Debunked “Du Fu” Poem That Criticized Chinese Government Proved Prophetic

This poem misrepresented as Du Fu’s 杜甫《蜀中吟》seems to have been devised to plague the regime by some mischievous literary people. The noxious weed appeared on some Chinese websites this spring was detected by China’s literary guardians.

Debunked Du Fu Poem That Criticized Chinese Government Proved PropheticXiao Qiang’s China Digital Times reported that the Party Propaganda Dept/State Council News Office sent out an order to website chiefs in April 2011 that the evil poem should be erased wherever it should appear. The parody contains vertical messages so reading the first and the last lines, one gets a subversive message.

国新办:请各网站特别是互动环节尽快删除《蜀中吟》(仿杜甫)一诗。

【“真理部”是网民对中国共产党中央委员会宣传部和其下属的各省宣传部,以及国家级的国务院新闻办公室,中央文明办,国家广播电影电视总局,出版总署,文化部等一系列言论出版审查机构的总称。】

附:《蜀中吟》(仿杜甫)

 

Du Fu still maintains a cottage in Chengdu, over one thousand years since his disappearance, so it may well be that the Sichuan PSB National Security Detachment already has one of their famous 40-man surveillance teams on the scene to keep the cottage under watch.

One of the prophecies that proved to be contained in the poem turns out to have been about the July high speed train crash in Zhejiang. The crash happened three months after the Propaganda Department sent forth its antibody orders to protect the body politic from the alleged Du Fuish poison. So some Chengdu literary experts believe that official claims that Du Fu or at least his parodist is not China’s answer to Nostradamus are premature. Perhaps the propaganda folk need to liberate their thinking (jiefang sixiang).

The first vertical line is “八刀追魂药家鑫狂”,“一车五命是谷青阳”

The second vertical line is 中央也忙,李刚更强”,“夜长道亡,翻墙心凉”

The first vertical line might be freely translated as “Eight knives seek out the crazy soul of Yao Jiaxin; five are killed in each car, in Qingyang [Note: Yao Jiaxin was executed for murdering someone he had hit with his car after he saw them writing down his license plate. Qingyang is in Zhejiang, near where the train wreck occurred. Eight cars were smashed and 40 people died.]

The second vertical line “The Center is busy too but Li Gang is more powerful. The nights are long as we have lost our way. As we scale the Great Firewall of China, our hearts are cold.”

The real Du Fu poem is here: 史上真正的《蜀中吟》 “杜甫”《蜀中吟》真相


Background  July 23, 2011 Chinese High-Speed Train Wreck:

The July 23, 2011 Chinese high speed train wreck killed over 30 people and excited outrage in China. Some people believe the train track was cleared to quickly and so the 5976727791_2d7c43630d_ochance to save some people was missed. This image was passed around on the Sina.com microblogging service.

Chinese press guidance reported in the China Digital Times:
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

The following orders were sent out after the high-speed train crash in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. As reported by Reuters, the directives issued by the central government this time did not seem to work very well to contain public outrage. Heated discussions are still active on micro-blogs, social networking sites, discussion forums and many other online communities.

Central Propaganda Department: In regard to the Wenzhou high-speed train crash, all media outlets are to promptly report information released from the Ministry of Railways. No journalists should conduct independent interviews. All subsidiaries including newspaper, magazines and websites are to be well controlled. Do not link reports with articles regarding the development of high-speed trains. Do not conduct reflective reports.

Additional directives for all central media: The latest directives on reporting the Wenzhou high-speed train crash: 1. Release death toll only according to figures from authorities. 2. Do not report on a frequent basis. 3. More touching stories are to reported instead, i.e. blood donation, free taxi services, etc. 4. Do not investigate the causes of the accident; use information released from authorities as standard. 5. Do not reflect or comment.

Reminder on reporting matters: All reports regarding the Wenzhou high-speed train accident are to be titled “7.23 Yong-Wen line major transportation accident.” Reporting of the accident is to use “ ‘in the face of great tragedy, there’s great love’” as the major theme. Do not question. Do not elaborate. Do not associate. No re-posting on micro-blogs will be allowed! Related service information may be provided during news reporting. Music is to be carefully selected!
The July 23, 2011 train wreck killed over 30 people and resulted in much outrage in China. Here is a sample from a Sina microblog:

Translation about the poster below:

5977291996_0fea784bb0_o
A new block buster movie following the “Great Task of Building the Party”
— Created by the Chinese Railroad Ministry
The Fright Driven Train Crew 惊魂动车组
— How far are we from heaven? Only a train ticket away
— The Ministry of Railways Earnestly Requests that You Ride the Heavenly Party Express

Also a satirical poster appeared online:

 

 

近日一首打着杜甫旗号的藏头露尾诗《蜀中吟》在网上广泛流传,究其原因,是其影射最近几桩热门案件。姑且不去谈论这个,我找到了搜搜百科,一位网友给发了真正的《蜀中吟》。原文如下:

(一)

巴山夜雨几年秋,

玉垒轻烟万古浮.

学校文翁驰誉望,

词章司马尽风流.

极边关塞空中尽,

如画江天望里收.

无角雀真穿我屋,

何因喘月徧吴牛.

(二)

益州分度井星躔,

百产丰饶满大干.

气象尙嫌秦汉陋,

人才端许宋唐贤.

无穷烟景供游赏,

大好江山任变迁.

岷水莫嫌频泛滥,

狂澜已近百余年。

(三)

如鳞比户乐虞唐,

天下军储此半偿。

交扈羣飞争啄粟,

杂花乱放逐骄阳。

山巅水角皆腴壤,

雨覆云翻羡报章。

独有田翁深阅厯,

逢人辄与话沧桑。

参考资料:四部丛刊景明抄本《白莲集》卷三

清宣统二年刻本《导咸同光四朝诗史·乙集》卷三

按:此摘自《同治道光四朝诗史》。杜甫绝无《蜀中吟》诗。余不揣其浅薄寡陋,甚恨俗人冒杜甫之名而作此等鄙陋之句。故贴此《蜀中吟》,以正天下之视听。另案,《蜀中吟》盖为古诗题,古人尝有“相思未相识,闻在蜀中吟”(唐释齐己《白莲集·寄李洞秀才》)句。

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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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