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Renowned poet Chou Meng-tieh dies at 92

2014/05/01 23:03:39

A photo of Chou Meng-tieh sits on his favorite corner seat at Cafe Astoria Thursday, the day he passed away.

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) Renowned Taiwanese poet and writer Chou Meng-tieh died Thursday of complications from pneumonia in New Taipei at the age of 92.

Chou died at the hospital of organ dysfunction. He was already in the hospital recovering from a recent surgery.

Born Chou Chi-shu in China's Henan Province in 1921, he came to Taiwan in 1948 with the Chinese Nationalist Government during the Chinese Civil War.

He began selling poetry and books in Taipei, the same year he published his first collection of poems, "Gu Du Guo" (Lonely Land), which became one of his most important works.

In 1997, he was named the first literature laureate of the National Culture and Arts Foundation.

His poems are deeply influenced by Buddhist thought and have a meditative quality to them. They often touch on the subjects of time, life and death.

"Chou Meng-tieh was a legendary page in Taiwan's cultural history," Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai, who last visited Chou at the hospital on April 22, said Thursday after learning about the poet's death.

During the Chinese Civil War, Chou "plunged headlong into the library and pored over 'Dream of the Red Chamber' day and night," said Lung.

The Ministry of Culture said it will propose a presidential citation for the late poet.

(By Sabine Cheng, Sunrise Huang and Christie Chen)