A Chinese Poet’s Unusual Path From Isolated Farm Life to Celebrity

 

 

“Her poems, among contemporary Chinese poems, are like putting a murderer among a group of respectable ladies,” wrote Mr. Liu, the Poetry editor. “Everybody else wears fancy clothes, puts on makeup and perfume and readers can’t see a single bead of sweat. But hers are full of smoke and fire — and mud and landslides. Her words are stained with blood.”

Born in 1976 in Hengdian, Ms. Yu never finished high school. At 19 she married a construction worker 12 years older, in a wedding arranged by her parents, who were concerned that she would never be able to care for herself. At 27, she began writing poetry.

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“I needed to do something to keep my spirit up,” she said. “Each day, I wrote one or two poems, and I felt I had accomplished something.”

(The full article is behind NYT’s paywall. Click the photo above if you have subscribed to NYT)

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About 诗东西 Poetry East West

Chinese-English bilingual magazine (will include more languages), published in Los Angeles USA, printed in Beijing China. ISSN 2159-2772

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