December 26, 118 years since the birth of Mao Zedong: revolutionary leader, thinker, teacher, poet

Mao Zedong with peasants in Yenan, 1937

Reascending Chingkangshan

(To the tune of Shui Tiao Keh Tou – May 1965)

I have long aspired to reach for the clouds

And I again ascend Chingkangshan.

Coming from afar to view our old haunt, I find new scenes replacing the old.

Everywhere orioles sing, swallows dart,

Streams babble

And the road mounts skyward.

Once Huangyangchieh is passed

No other perilous place calls for a glance.

Wind and thunder are stirring,

Flags and banners are flying

Wherever men live.

Thirty-eight years are fled

With a mere snap of the fingers.

We can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven

And seize turtles deep down in the Five Seas:

We’ll return amid triumphant song and laughter.

Nothing is hard in this world

If you dare to scale the heights.

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