Fri, Apr 13, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Mo Luo-fu honored posthumously as a pioneer of poetry

Staff writer, with CNA

Renowned late poet Mo Luo-fu (莫洛夫) was on Wednesday posthumously honored for his achievements in literature and his contributions to the cultural community.

At a memorial service, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) presented a commendation from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to the family of the poet, who died of respiratory complications on March 19 at 91.

Upon learning of the poet’s death, Cheng said that Mo, who is better known by his pen name Lo Fu, was a pioneer of modern poetry in Taiwan and his works led the way in the development of the field.

Mo’s earlier poems are in abstruse and surrealist form, earning him the title “poetic magician” from admirers who said his linguistic skills had reached perfection, writer Lin Chi-yang (林淇瀁), writing under the pen name Xiang Yang (向陽), said in an obituary.

Mo’s later compositions possessed extreme tranquility and clarity, Lin wrote.

The innovative breakthroughs in poetic form that Mo made throughout his life were a result of his ceaseless dedication to studying the language of poetry, he wrote.

Born in Hengyang in China’s Hunan Province, Mo joined the Republic of China army during the Sino-Japanese War and came to Taiwan in 1949 after the Nationalist army lost the Chinese Civil War. In 1996, he moved to Vancouver, where he lived for 20 years.

Together with Chang Mo (張默) and Ya Xian, Mo cofounded the Epoch Poetry Society in 1954 and for more than a decade worked as editor of the Epoch Poetry Quarterly.

Mo’s 3,000-line poem Driftwood, which he published in 2000 when he was in Canada, was in 2001 nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

He was the author of more than 30 volumes of poetry, seven collections of essays, five volumes of literary criticism and eight book-length translations. His latest volume of poetry was published in January.

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