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CGTN|We Talk with Yu Xiuhua: Poetry knows no borders, it belongs to all humanity

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Chinese poet Yu Xiuhua shared her poems at a special event themed "Writing in the Clouds, Living in the Earth" at the British Library in London on April 19. The event featured some of Yu's representative works, and previewed excerpts from the upcoming dance-theatre production "Ten Thousand Tons of Moonlight" adopted from her poetry. On the same day, she was interviewed by China Global Television Network (CGTN).


Yu Xiuhua said “Poetry belongs to the humanities, It is not confined by nationality. Because no matter which country people come from, their spirits are interconnected. No matter what nationality I am, my feelings about the world and my understanding of human emotions are always the same. Although there are cultural differences, overall they are basically the same, this is my thought. Those who write poetry or engage in literature, they speak of humanity, rather than the people of a specific nation. Even if some literature is about the affairs of humanity during a certain period, it is still part of the entire stream of human history.”


Today’s audience, the poet Helen Wing from British, expressed her thought, “I’m just really amazed at the effect that this poet has on young women. Yu Xiuhua gives a voice to many of the young women and young men who struggle with how to understand the architecture of their emotions, and how to, if you like, choreograph their emotional lives you know, in a very fast-moving, very changeable modern world for them. So I think she’s a wonderful voice for people. The languages of love are universal you know. One of the things that she talks about so much in her poetry is how she is overtaken by feelings that she can’t express. And this is the subject of a lot of my work and I feel very much that this is how so many people experience the world.”


Farooq Chaudhry, the Director of the dance theatre production “Ten Thousand Tons of Moonlight”, told the journalist about the connection between this work, himself and Yu Xiuhua, he said, "The first time I read Yu's poetry six years ago I found her poetry deeply moving. And I think there’s something about poetry and contemporary dance that is very similar, in that it uses symbolism and metaphor to explain things about how we are as human beings. And I felt there was something in the poetry that connected with me. I want people to discover Yu Xiuhua. I want them to know her poetry. I want people around the world to appreciate the talent that comes out of China. I’m not a political person, but I think China has such an ocean of talent and great stories to tell with extraordinary people. and I just think it would be great if those people could be known by more people. It’s quite simple. I think projects like this give people, Western audiences and UK audiences, insight into contemporary China. What does it mean to be a Chinese person living today? A Chinese woman or a Chinese man? What does it mean to love in modern China? What does beauty mean? All these things are more relevant to people today and I think that’s why Yu’s work resonates so much with young people. Because she’s speaking of their world."

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