Jiang He

Jiang He
(né Yu Youze)
b. 1949, Beijing
Jiang He was an important member of the group of Misty poets (see Misty poetry) who were loosely associated with the literary journal Today (Jintian) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jiang He began writing poetry in the 1970s in Baiyang dian as a’sent-down youth’ from Beijing. But he gained his fame with sequences of civic-style poems, including The Monument’ (Jinian bei, 1977) and ‘Motherland, O Motherland’ (Zuguo, ah zuguo, 1978). Many of his early works were published in Today, but very soon were accepted in official magazines and became tremendously influential with a larger audience in the early 1980s.
Along with his fellow Misty poet Yang Lian, Jiang He is regarded as the main founder of the ‘modern epic’ (xiandai shishi) movement of the mid 1980s. In his mature work, Jiang attempted to create a new kind of poetic fusion, rejoining and synthesizing East and West, modernism and tradition. He published two collections of poetry: Beginning From Here (Cong zheli kaishi, 1986) and what is regarded as the best illustration of his poetic ideals, The Sun and Its Reflections (Taiyang he tade fan’guang, 1987). Jiang He gradually faded from the Chinese poetic scene, particularly after his move to the USA in the late 1980s. Nevertheless, he remains a key figure in the renaissance of contemporary Chinese poetry.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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