Festival named after well-known Chinese poet

Festival named after well-known Chinese poet

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Festival named after well-known Chinese poet

To head to the so-called headquarters of British academia and culture. Cambridge University - where numerous festivals have been held. The latest addition in the array of festivals is one that pays tribute to Chinese poet Xu Zhimo, a renowned writer that studied at King's College, Cambridge in the 1920s. Let's find out more.

Festival named after well-known Chinese poet

Festival named after well-known Chinese poet

By the picturesque River Cam, reciting of poems by Xu Zhimo are found and resonated near the white marble plaque that commemorates him. 

The white marble is inscribed with a line of Xu's signature poem depicting the River Cam "On Leaving Cambridge". It was installed in 2008 near a bridge at King's College where Xu studied in the early 1920s. 

That had exposed him to the works of Keats and Shelley -- which shaped his style and made him as one of China's leading modern poets. 

The King's College garden, just near Xu's plaque, serves as a perfect backdrop for the Cambridge Poetry and Art Festival.

Dozens of poets from both China and Europe joined the event.

"Both our cultures are very interested in gardens. And the two have influenced each other. Particularly Chinese gardens have influenced British gardens. And most of our plants come from China. From 18th century this country has been influenced by Chinese gardens. We are now being influenced again by Chinese poetry and culture," said Alan Macfarlane, chairman of Cambridge Xu Zhimo Poetry & Art Festival. 

The festival also entails a Chinese calligraphy and painting exhibition, an art forum, and a dialogue between Chinese and European poets. 

Rounding up the event is Cambridge's very own candlelit dinner. 

"Someone said to me earlier. A friend of mine in London, said I'm very jealous, you're going to this Chinese poetry evening, because they were food for the soul."

"China is connected with the world, not just the UK. The connection should not just be through material, trade or money. Poets have a power of piercing through all these, and will bloom in their own right," said Poet Ouyang Jianghe. 

Chinese poets draw inspiration from Xu and his works, with some even coming to Cambridge to write.

In this way, a legacy left by one of China's most renowned romantic poets will continue to be savored by generations to come

 

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