Ai Ch'ing

Ai Ch'ing or Ai Qing both: īˈ chĭngˈ [key], pseud. of Chiang Hai-ch'eng or Jiang Haicheng, 1910–96, Chinese poet. After studying painting in France (1929–32), where he discovered realist literature and was particularly influenced by the Belgian poet Émile Verhaeren, he returned to China and wrote modernist poetry in flamboyant free verse that also showed the influence of the Soviet poet Mayakovsky. He was active in Communist literary circles in the 1940s and 50s. From 1958, following the anti-intellectual campaign of 1957, and for nearly 20 years, he was detained in state farms, humiliated and forced to perform hard manual labor. Allowed to return to Bejing (1976), he returned to writing poetry with the same fervent political voice found in his earlier work. He is widely regarded as one of modern China's finest poets. His son is the noted artist Ai Weiwei.

See translations by E. Eoyang (1982).

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