Guang Weiran(1913-2002) is the famous poet who wrote The Yellow River Cantata, Flowers of May, Qu Yuan and several popular poems. His previous name was Zhang Guangnian, and in his eighty-nine-year life, he experienced both enthusiastic and vagrant times. Guang began to learn at a very early age and kept the habit of wrting during his lifetime. He seized every oppotunity to learn foreign languages and Chinese classical literature as well as devoted himself to drama and music studies.
file photo: Guang Weiran
The Yellow River is the mother river of China, it symbolizes Chinese national spirit of heroism. When the war against Japanese broke out in 1939, the inspiration deeply buried in t he young poet’s heart was enlightened by the magnificence of the rushing Hukou Waterfall and the chant sung by boat trackers. Under extremely difficult conditions, two young revolutionists, Guang Weiran and Xian Xinghai, finally finished the marvelous combination of poetry and music which became the loudest enthusiastic voice of the age.
Guang Weiran's statue in the Central China Normal University
In January 1939, Guang fell off the horse and broke his left arm in his traveling. Duiring his rest after operation, he recalled his memory of the Yellow River and wrote the series of lyrics The Yellow River Cantata in hospital bed. When Xian Xinghai heard Guang’s reciting, he grasped the paper exicitedly and said: ”I have confidence to compose it well.” After six days’ hard work, the Cantata was first performed in Yan’an in April with Guang’s reciting and Xian’s conducting. From then on, The Yellow River Cantata spreaded all over the country and became very popular.
Poet is the prophet of spring. In 1977, Guang recognized that the spring of literature and art was already coming, so he readily prepared restructuring China Writers’ Association and becoming the chief editor of People’s Literature. Whatever the position was, Guang always kept his poetic character and was full of romantic spirit on new things.
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