RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON
a poet’s journey through Liuhebafa
by Kim Goldberg
Pig Squash Press
When award-winning political journalist and nonfiction author Kim Goldberg began studying the ancient Taoist internal art of Liuhebafa in 1998, it had an unexpected effect on her writer’s voice: she fell silent for nearly a decade. When the words finally returned, they came as poems. Ride Backwards On Dragon is her mapping of that journey through the alien and tumultuous landscape of inner alchemy and outer upheaval, leading her ultimately to a discovery of wholeness.
In her long-awaited fifth book, Goldberg uses the 66-move sequence of this little known martial art to frame several levels of narrative through a lyrical trajectory of poems. There is a relationship gone awry, a quest for immortality, an ancient pre-coital struggle between green dragon and white tiger, and finally an emergence of voice.
In a series of endnotes, Goldberg decodes the Taoist metaphysical symbolism of the 66 ancient titles of the movements, revealing them to be a blueprint for living a life. No other such resource systematically decoding these names has been published in English. The 28 pages of endnotes make this book a valuable resource for practitioners of all the Taoist internal arts (Chi Gong, T’ai Chi, Bagua, Hsing-I, Liuhebafa), or for the person simply seeking a self-authored life.
Ride Backwards on Dragon was selected as a Finalist for Canada’s 2008 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for poetry.
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