Sunday Poem

In the southwest corner of China, the grand mountains and rivers that border the Tibetan plateau are home to the Yi, an ethnic group often portrayed in the Chinese popular imagination as a fierce and defiant highland people. A down-to-earth poet caught between the Yi highlands and the Han Chinese lowlands, Jimu Langge (his Yi name) writes fluently in-between: More 

Jimu Langge

Within the literary world
of an era not distance past
because something was missing
(materially and spiritually
though young,
I still experienced that era)
There was a phenomenon, or call it
the style of an entire era,
and that was humility
If one was not humble then nothing was possible
Humility was a moral virtue
Only with moral virtue could you become an important person
and not being humble was arrogant
Arrogance would not make an important person
Not becoming a big important person
meant you were an unimportant person
A little unimportant person was just
a fucking peon
What other reason is there for writing?
See, one lapse in concentration
and again I’m being influenced by that era
It was such a reactionary era
because it was so humble

I like people who aren’t humble
and like arrogant fellows even more
The more arrogant he is the more I respect him
And vice-versa: the more humble he is
the more it makes me look down on him
Even though I know he has

my son said
“People should be humble.”
This is what his teacher taught him
I didn’t say a word
I thought, “You’re still young,
wait till you get older.
After you can think for yourself,
the first thing I want you to do is
not be humble.”
To not be humble, you need arrogance
and to be arrogant, you don’t need humility
Of course if you say you can when you really can’t
you will suffer the bigger loss

But this already has nothing to do with humility