By Yang Chin-cheng and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Tainan’s Yanshui District (鹽水) recently announced the completion of a second “poets’ road,” the second of its kind in Tianliao Borough (田寮) celebrating historical poets from the region.
Borough officials said the monument would display 90 works dating back to the Kingdom of Tungning (1661 to 1683) up to 1950 that will be etched into ceramic tiles along the length of the monument.
The monument comes 17 years after the first one was built, officials said, adding that poetry readings are held every March at the monument as part of celebrations for the cotton tree flowering season.
The two poets’ roads are unique in the nation for their celebration of poetry from the era, the officials said.
The two monuments line both sides of a farm road and form a set of attractions together with a garden labyrinth, officials said.
The construction of the new monument was completed along with improvements to irrigation facilities along the road at a total cost of NT$16 million (US$522,022), officials said, adding that the project was subsidized by the Council of Agriculture’s Soil and Water Conservation Bureau.
Moon Port Literary Society secretary-general Lin Ming-kun (林明?) said the first poets’ road monument features 110 works from the Japanese colonial era up until the present.
Lin said the new monument fills in the gaps by highlighting works that came from Taiwan’s early history up until the Qing Dynasty.
“When visitors come here they will have a better understanding of the 350 years of Taiwan’s literary history,” Lin said.
The new monument highlights poems that were previously unpublished, including Chang Shui-po’s (張水波) Sightings of Spring at Chihkan Tower (赤崁城春望) and Lin Wo-yun’s (林臥雲) Guanshan Hot Springs (關嶺泉溫).
The monument also contains poet Yeh Jung-chung’s (葉榮鐘) reflection on the 228 Incident.
The 228 Incident refers to the crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrations in 1947, following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27 of that year.
That event also marked the beginning of the White Terror era that saw thousands of Taiwanese arrested, imprisoned and executed.