Wen Yiduo

(1899_1946 / Xishui County, Hubei)

Biography of Wen Yiduo

Wen Yiduo poet

Wen Yiduo (born. 24 November 1899 – 15 July 1946) was a Chinese poet and scholar.

Wen was born "Wén Jiāhuá" on 24 November 1899 in Xishui County, Hubei. After receiving a traditional education he went on to continue studying at the Tsinghua University.
In 1922, he traveled to the United States to study fine arts and literature at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was during this time that his first collection of poetry, Hongzhu ( "Red Candle"), was published.
In 1925, he traveled back to China and took a university teaching post. In 1928, his second collection, Sishui ( "Dead Water"), was published. His poetry is influenced by Western models. In the same year he joined the Crescent Moon Society and wrote essays on poetry, mostly stressing that poetry should have "formal properties". He also began to publish the results of his classical Chinese literature research.
At the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, he and many other intellectuals from northeastern China migrated to Kunming, Yunnan. There he was able to continue to teach, this time in the wartime National Southwestern Associated University.
He became politically active in 1944 in support of the China Democratic League. His outspoken nature led to his assassination by secret agents of the Kuomintang, right after eulogizing his friend Li Gongpu's life at Li's funeral in 1946.
A monument to Wen can be found at the Yunnan Normal University campus in Kunming, as can a large statue. A small memorial to him, including a wall portrait painted from a famous picture of him smoking his pipe is found in a walkway by his former home (the site is now part of an elementary school) in the Green Lake area of Kunming. He and his wife, Gao Zhen, are buried at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing.

PoemHunter.com Updates

Stagnant Water

Here lies a ditch of hopeless stagnant water,
Fresh breezes can't breathe half a ripple from its skin.
Better just junk your copper scrap metal here
Or dump the leftovers from dinner in.

Perhaps the copper will turn emerald green
And in rusting cans peach blossom petals will bloom.
Then let grease weave out a film of silken gauze
And microbes brew up clouds of colorful brume.

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