Saturday 4 October 2008
A new collection of poems, ’Tibet’s True Heart’, by Tibet’s most well-known writer and commentator, Woeser, is now available in English. The poems are published at the time of the worst crackdown in Tibet for 50 years, when hundreds of Tibetans have ’disappeared’ or been silenced following a wave of protests against Chinese rule that swept the plateau from March onwards. Despite living under almost constant police surveillance in Beijing together with her husband, Chinese writer Wang Lixiong, Woeser continues to be one of the most eloquent and fiercest critics of Chinese oppression in Tibet. The new collection of her poems, written over 20 years and translated by A.E.Clark, reveal Woeser’s discovery of her Tibetan Buddhist identity and her country’s past after an upbringing in elite Party circles speaking Chinese. Her writings are reflections on life, memory, loss and spiritual faith as well as forbidden subjects such as political imprisonment and injustice.
Woeser’s latest poem, ’Fear in Lhasa’, describes how the fear in the city today is greater than at the time of three key events in Tibet’s contemporary history - the Lhasa Uprising, which led to the Dalai Lama’s escape into exile in March 1959, the Cultural Revolution, and the imposition of martial law in March 1989. Woeser wrote the poem two days after being held and questioned by police for eight hours and accused of taking photographs during a brief trip home to Lhasa with her husband in August. The police searched her mother’s home and removed several documents as well as Wang Lixiong’s computer.
See online : International Campaign for Tibet