Happy Birthday, Bei Dao, born 2 August 1949
- On the one hand poetry is useless. It can’t change the world materially. On the other hand it is a basic part of human existence. It came into the world when humans did. It’s what makes human beings human.
- Writing is the thing that sustains me and keeps me going. It is a form of self-preservation.
- I don’t think of writing my poems for China or for the world. I mainly think of a small audience of friends and people I know. I am writing for that small group. They are not necessarily going to be able to read it, but that’s what I have in mind when I write.
- Freedom is nothing but the distance between the hunter and the hunted.
- As a writer, the most important thing for me is to continue to write, no matter where I am.
Bei Dao is the pen name of Chinese poet Zhao Zhenkai. He is one of the most famous Misty Poets, a group of Chinese poets who reacted against the restrictions of the Cultural Revolution.