President Tsai expresses condolences over renowned poet's death

2017/12/14 19:38:17 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Yu Kwang-chung (余光中, CNA file photo)

Yu Kwang-chung (余光中, CNA file photo)

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed condolences Thursday over the death of famous Taiwanese poet Yu Kwang-chung (余光中), who passed away earlier in the day at the age of 89.

Yu died at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital after developing a pulmonary infection and suffering a stroke.

In a statement issued by the Presidential Office, Tsai said that Yu had great influence on the development of contemporary literature in Taiwan and inspired literary creation among the youth.

In similar vein, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) also extended condolences over Yu's death and lauded his writing achievements in genres such as poetry, prose, translation, and commentary.

Yu's work has had far-reaching effects on the literary community in Taiwan and is an indispensable page in the history of contemporary literature in Taiwan, Cheng said a statement issued by her ministry.

Also on Thursday, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu said in a statement issued by the city government that Yu loved the sea and must have taken the port city as his second hometown because he spent a lot of time there. Yu had been living in Kaohsiung since 1985 when he returned from Hong Kong, where he had been working as a professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong since 1974.

Meanwhile, Yu's death has generated much attention in China, with some media outlets immediately publishing some of his speeches and interviews. According to the state-run Beijing Youth Daily, a post on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo about Yu's death has attracted 30,000 comments.

Yu's well-known masterpiece poem "Nostalgia," which has been published in school textbooks, has also been forwarded many times by Chinese netizens.

National Sun Yat-sen University, where Yu served as professor emeritus after his retirement, will help arrange a Buddhist memorial service for him at a time and place yet to be announced.

(By Lo Yuan-shao, Chang Jung-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping, Chang Shu-ling and Evelyn Kao)
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