Sat, Mar 24, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Kinmen project to honor late poet might be reborn

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Poet Lo Fu shows his calligraphy for the Poetry and Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Festival on Sept. 26, 2014. The text reads: “Hark! The sound of opening a bottle of wine is always more pleasant than that of pulling the trigger.”

Photo: Wu Cheng-ting, Taipei Times

Calls for a literary museum to honor and commemorate poet Mo Yun-tuan (莫運端), better known for his pseudonym Lo Fu (洛夫), who passed away on Monday at the age of 89, have prompted the Kinmen County Cultural Affairs Bureau to mull the project’s feasibility.

Born in Hunan Province in 1928, Mo was drafted into military service in 1949 and came to Taiwan with the Nationalist government.

He wrote his first poem while serving in Kinmen and continued to publish throughout his life.

Bureau Director-General Lu Kun-ho (呂坤和) said the agency had planned to invite Mo to present a talk in Kinmen in July or August last year, but was forced to cancel when he fell ill.

The cancelation forever deprived Kinmen residents of the opportunity to see the great poet, Lu said.

It was in 1959, while Mo was serving as a soldier in the Wu Yang trenches on Taiwushan (太武山) in Kinmen under on-and-off shelling by the People’s Liberation Army after the 823 Artillery Bombardment, that he wrote his first long poem, Death of a Stone Chamber (石室之死), Lu said.

Also in Kinmen, Mo met the woman who would later become his wife, Chen Chiung-fang (陳瓊芳), Lu said, adding that the bureau was planning to hold a music festival to commemorate Mo choosing to reside in the county.

Mo returned to Taiwan in 2016 after emigrating to Canada in 1996.

The bureau had always planned to found the Kinmen Literary Museum, even considering land near Jinsha Township’s (金沙) Jui Yu School, but had canceled the plans after discovering that it was private land, Lu said.

In the past, Kinmen County Councilor Chou Tzu-chieh (周子傑) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had also arranged for Mo to meet with bureau officials and officials from the county’s public works department to discuss setting up the literary museum, Lu said.

The plan was for the department to provide the land, but the project has been put on hold as the county government wished to consider opinions from all sides, Lu said.

Former National Museum of History director Chang Yui-tan (張譽騰) had made known his support for establishing the Lo Fu Literary Museum in Kinmen, saying that Mo had deep ties with Kinmen.

A literary museum to preserve and annotate the literary works with which Mo had graced posterity is the best way to commemorate the late poet, Chang said.

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) praised Mo for being “a leader of Taiwanese modern poetry,” adding that she would recommend that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) give Mo a commendation.

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