For the Lamps of China

. . . .At Chu-t'ang a straight cleft yawns:

At Yen-yū islands block the stream.

Long before night the walls are black with dusk;

Without wind white waves rise.

The big rocks are like a flat sword:

The little rocks resemble ivory tusks. . . .

Thus in 518 A.D., the Chinese poet, Po Chui, expressed his alarm at the roaring Yangtze gorges in Central China, the bottleneck through which the waters of the 3,000-mile-Iong river pour out of the Szechwan basin and Tibetan foothills onto the flat paddies of China's rice bowl. Then as now,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!