Speaker: Mrs Julia Wen
The School of Translation invited Mrs Julia Wen, a contemporary poet, to give a talk themed “The Joy of Poetry”. Mrs Wen has published three books of poetry, and seven poems of her were adopted in the supplementary English textbooks for secondary schools. She also wrote for a weekly English poetry column in the Sing Tao Daily. The guest talk covered the appreciation and writing of 21st century modern poetry, technical aspects of poetic skills,the magic of poetry and the life of a person of culture.
Anything goes in modern poetry. Contemporary poets can write about anything, possibly an emotion, an incident or an idea. Poetry is about seeing beauty in ordinariness. Being observant is therefore one of the qualities of a poet. Mrs Wen encouraged students to communicate with the inner self by practising daily self-reflection, and in turn develop richer sensibility to the surroundings.
Elaborate narrative skills and large lexical inventory are among the distinct qualities of poets. Mrs Wen reminded students to expand their vocabulary both horizontally (in number) and vertically (in intensity). Poems go through revisions to enhance vividness and arouse resonance. Usual tactics include refining wording, deploying literary techniques and opting for more powerful synonyms.
Mrs Wen concluded the seminar with the meaning of poetry: Poetry is about the way of life, and life is the ability to feel.