Friday, October 22, 2010

... And in Poetry News

I guess poetry still matters in China. A mother beat her child to death because she couldn't memorize a poem:
A woman who beat her five-year-old daughter to death while trying to get her to memorize a poem has been spared jail by a Chinese court, state press said on Wednesday.

Tan Hongying was sentenced to three years in prison by a court in eastern Zhejiang province on Tuesday but the sentence was suspended and she was instead given five years probation, the Beijing Morning News reported.

The report did not say why the court in the city of Jiashan handed down such a light sentence.

The girl died in March after Tan pushed her to memorize a Tang Dynasty (618-907) poem, a common school exercise for Chinese children.
The report did not say what particular Tan Dynasty poem led to the child's death. My money is on the following gem by Li Bai, "Green Mountain" (translation by Witter Byner):
You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream
And is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men.