Reply to Comrade Guo Moruo
On this tiny globe
A few flies bang against the wall
Sometimes angry, sometimes tearful.
Ants on the locust tree act like they’re a great nation
And mayflies talk about how easy it would be to topple a giant tree.
The west wind scatters leaves over Chang’an,
And the flying arrows twang.
How many deeds, always urgent.
The world rolls on,
Days and nights press.
Ten thousand years is too long,
Just seize the day.
The Four Seas are rising, clouds and water raging,
The Five Continents are shaking, wind and thunder rocking.
We must sweep away all pests
No one can oppose us.
Written by Mao Zedong for the Marxist scholar Guo Moruo, and set
to the classical tune “The Whole River Runs Red.”
“Study hard, progress daily.” —Mao
Supreme Instruction: “If
we don’t speak, who will speak? If we don’t act, who will act? There
are a thousand strands and ten thousand threads of truth in Marxism.
But in the final instance, it’s just one sentence: ‘It’s right to