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Hsia Yu, a renowned Taiwanese poet, was born in Taipei, 1956.

Hsia Yu studied film and


drama at the National Taiwan Academy of the Arts. She have lived many years in France, and
now divides her time between France and Taipei. Hsia Yu began to write poems in the 1980s, and
before she published her own poetry book, her works have been selected in Mo Changs poems
anthology: Modern Female Poets (1981). Hsia Yus very first poems collection is Bei Wong
Lu(1984), which means memo. His Yu publicised Bei Wong Lu at her own expense, and was
immediately sold out. Copy versions of Bei Wong Lu became popular(my very own copy of Bei
Wong Lu was found in a coffee shop, where I borrowed to make a copy from). After seven years,
Hsia Yu publicised her second poems collection: Fu Yu Shu, which means ventriloquism. Hsia Yu
herself regards Fu Yu Shu as he first poems collection, because she thinks Fu Yu Shu has elevated
from Bei Wong Lu. Fu Yu Shu is still being reprinted till today, and is likely to be Hsia Yus most
popular poems collection. Hsia Yus third poems collection: Moo Tsa Wuu Yee Min Zang, which,
literally means: frictions, unnamable. This poetry book consists of scrambled and pastiched words
from Fu Yu Shu. From these poems collections, we see the playfulness of Hsia Yus poetry.
After Moo Tsa Wuu Yee Min Zang, the playfulness of Hsia Yus poems collection have not
reduce. These poetry books, like Bei Wong Lu, are, according to Hsia Yus own words,
handicrafts. Her forth poems collection, Salsa, is a book which pages need to be torn or to be cut
in order to read it. The acts of tearing and cutting the pages of the books are just like Hsia Yu
telling her readers that reading poetry is just like these rituals. Her next poems collection,
Fenghongse Zaoyin, which means pink noise, is book which pages made of cellophane paper. In
order to read the poems clearly, the readers need to place a sheet of paper or the words would be
unreadable. Besides, the composing of Pink Noise is innovating. Hsia Yu wrote the English
poems first and then use a translator software call Sherlock to translate them, directly without
any modifications. What is more, Hsia Yu herself considers this writing process a liberation of
language. She also compared method of translation with Nabokovs, whose works of translation
or known for being direct and literal. Therefore, the pink noise are the thickly packed characters
on the cellophane papers also the strange and eerie words after translation. Last but not least, Hsia
Yus Shih Liushe Sho, Sixty poems, is a book which cover is like a lottery ticket, the surface
needs to be scratched off. Hence, every copy of the poetry book is unique.
Hsia Yus poems mainly deal with love and language games. As a result, Hsia Yu is usually
emphasised as a female poet, and a postmodernist. However, Hsia Yu seems to care less about
these tags. The titles of her poetry books also shows Hsia Yus signature feature of her poems: the
playfulness, the strong sense of parody, and the clever puns, etc. For instance, in Chinese, Bei
Wong can mean both to be memo and forgotten; Fu Yu can mean both ventriloquism and the
language of the father. Furthermore, the theme of love in Hsia Yus poetry is quite apparent, and
there are lots of critiques written about it. The one I found most interesting recently is written by
the renowned scholar Dr. Xiaobin Yang. Her Desire and Jouissance: Contemporary Mandarin
Literature and Culture Under the Context of Lacan (2013) talks about female jouissance by doing
close reading to Hsia Yus poems.
Besides writing poems, Hsia Yu writes lots of lyrics under the innuendo Lee Gudee. Just to list
a little: Xao Chungs Im Ugly but Im Very Tender, Sandy Chens Leaving on the Jet Plane,
What are you worrying about? My Dear, Cheer Chens 47 Things I Would Like to Remember
Before I Get Blind, A Box of Raindrops, Hebe Teins Please Give me a Better Love Rival,
Utopia. The most recent lyric we see is Jolin Tsais Play I Spit. (The word play sounds very
similar to Chineses word for to spit on someone, hence, I prefer my own translation: Play my
ass). There is a interesting line in this song which I would love to share: I dont care whether
you belong to the mainstream or indie, I spit. This line echoes to Hsia Yus attitude toward
high/low brow culture: she doesnt give a damn about it.