Poems | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Mao Zedong


Summer 1933


 Red, orange, yellow, green,
 blue, violet, indigo:
 Who is dancing with these
 rainbow colours in the sky?
 Air after rain, slanting sun:
 mountains and passes turning blue
 in each changing moment.
 Fierce battles that year:
 bullet holes in village walls.
 These mountains so decorated,
 look even more beautiful today.



Tapoti is a town seventeen miles northwest of Juichin in Kiangsi Province, the main Red base. Tapoti 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 add their colours. Willows line the streams. After rain, there are rainbows in the sky with as many colours as the landscape.

‘Fierce battles that year’ probably refers to the fighting in February 1929 in which the Red Army lost heavily but captured hundreds of Nationalist troops and rifles.

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


Poems  |  Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung