The Poems of Mao Zedong | TAPOTI –to the tune of Pu Sa Man ~菩萨蛮·大柏地


–to the tune of Pu Sa Man

Summer 1933

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet–
Who is dancing, waving this coloured ribbon against the sky?
The sun returns slanting after the rain
And hill and pass grow a deeper blue.

A furious battle once raged here,
The village walls, bullet-scarred,
Now adorn hill and pass
And make them doubly fair.


Dabodi (Tapoti) is a town seventeen miles northwest of Juichin in Kiangsi Province and is said to be a colourful place, with high mounds of red clay and green pine woods. Rice paddies and farmhouses with grey tile roofs and white walls also add their colours. Willows line the streams. After rain, there are rainbows in the sky with as many colours as the landscape.

Dabodi is the site of a battle which actually took place at the beginning of 1929. Initially the Red Army suffered several defeats but, in the winter of 1929, they fought a desperate but succesful battle with stones and bare hands. Mao revisted the site several times and wrote this poem 4 years later.

This poem repeats one of Mao’s favourite situations — a landscape beautiful in itself, made more attractive by the Red Army’s victory and the presence of Communist soldiers and flags, adding their own colours (including blood) to those of the town and country.

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