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Undying Poetry -- Lin Hengtai Donation Exhibition

  • DATE:2019-08-02~2020-02-02
  • VENUE:1st Floor, Exhibition Room E

Lin Hengtai wrote in The Undying Poetry Theory that "Poetry shall persist as long as one poet still writes poems." In fact, Lin consistently upheld poetry’s vitality in his poetic works and literary discussions. Lin Hengtai (1924- ), who wrote under the pen names of Heng Ren and Huan Tai, authored prose, critiques, and translations in addition to poetry. He first began composing modern poetry in 1941. Lin’s well-known poem "The Cross-Language Generation" describes the generation of writers, including himself, who in 1945 found themselves at the chaotic epicenter of Taiwan’s termination of 50 years of Japanese cultural and linguistic indoctrination and the enforced reintroduction of Mainland Chinese culture and language. Lin entered Taiwan Normal University in 1946, joined the Ginreikai (Silver Bell) Poetry Society, participated in the school’s Hokkien (Taiwanese language) Drama Club and Longan Literary Art Club, and published poetry in Taiwan Shin Sheng Daily News’ Bridge Supplement and the Silver Bell Association’s journal Tide. Later on, he joined literary clubs such as Modernism, Li Poetry Society, and The Taipei Chinese Pen. Lin once interpreted his own literary path as “Delimiting nativism via the modernist experience,” suggesting that, in addition to considering Lin Hengtai’s well-known “modernist” perspective, his works should be studied and appreciated for their connections to themes of “nativism”, “localism”, and even “Taiwanese consciousness”.