Michael Jackson’s contribution to music, dance and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
To commemorate the 7th anniversary of his death, East China Normal University Press released a bilingual collection of Jackson’s personal poems and reflections for fans of Jackson in China.
The book based on Jackson’s 1992 “Dancing the Dream,” was translated by translator Chen Dongbiao, who said at the launch of the book at K11 art museum last weekend that “it has the innocence of a child, 100 percent honesty and rhythms that were made only for the pleasure of reading and listening.”
Elizabeth Taylor, Jackson’s longtime friend, provided a brief introduction, where she praised Jackson’s “quality of innocence” and describes him as “honesty personified.”
Her respect and adoration for Jackson is adamant, and one can easily observe the dizzying effect he produced on those around him.
Complemented by hundreds of photographs, manuscripts and paintings Jackson collected, as in the original edition, the script features a series of personal perspectives on the world and its issues.
Through fable-like musings of noble elephants, anthropomorphic seals and wise seers, emotions peek out from underneath the simplistic prose. From his childlike lenses, Jackson’s literary style is packed to the brim with nature motifs that openly display his belief that nature and love are intrinsically tied.
The compassion may be attributed to Jackson’s humble childhood as one of 10 children in a working class family in Indiana. He expresses sympathy for the homeless in “But the Heart Said No,” and care for the environment in “Look Again, Baby Seal.”
The latter is undoubtedly among the most striking pieces in the book, because it painstakingly details the helplessness of a baby seal that represents the thousands of baby seals being slaughtered each year. This poem is one of many about the harmful effects of detrimental human practices.
However, Jackson’s compilation is unique in that it does not condemn the perpetrators, but instead focuses on advocating peace and harmony. The poetry is indicative of Jackson’s innocent demeanor and creative magnetism.
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