I will not attempt to criticize this poem. I will leave it to you, gentle readers, to decide the value of the poetry. I would, however, like to take minor issue with the author for stealing the title from one of my favorite movies.

Known as Ba wang bie ji in the original Mandarin, this Chinese film from 1993 was directed by Kaige Chen. It was written by Wei Lu and Lillian Lee. Ms. Lee wrote the novel on which the script was based. The stars are Leslie Cheung as Douzi and Fengyi Zhang as Shitou.

They are two orphaned boys who wind up in the Peking Opera. They become stage brothers and very close friends, until the woman in the story comes between them. The homosexual overtones play a very important part in the complexity of the overall plot. It was the best movie I saw that year.

A visually breathtaking film with a marvelous story; it tells you as much about China in the 20th Century as you could hope to learn in 3 hours. I believe the intent of the filmmaker was to show the entire political history of China in that century, and if you can accomplish that and still have a story line that will make you cry, what greater art is there?