FEI MA (1936— ), PEN NAME OF MA WEIYI - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

FEI MA (1936— ), PEN NAME OF MA WEIYI. Poet. Born in Taizhong, Taiwan, Fei Ma moved with his family, soon after birth, back to his ancestral village in Guangdong. In 1948, he followed his father back to Taiwan, leaving behind on the mainland his mother, whom he would not see again for 30 years. He graduated with a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and has made a living as a nuclear energy researcher, but has made his fame as a poet. He was a member of the Bamboo Hat Society, the only mainlander among its exclusively Taiwanese membership. Considered a “black horse” in Taiwanese poetry, Fei Ma wrote poems in the 1950s and 1960s that showed compassion and concern for society and people, in direct opposition to the modernist and surrealist trends prevalent in Taiwan’s poetry circles. In accordance with the Bamboo Hats’ emphasis on social criticism, Fei Ma’s poems take into account the social responsibility of the poet to his society in order to move his readers. Philosophical in its tone and realistic in its description, Fei Ma’s poetry embraces the modern. In his opinion, modern poetry should strive to achieve four goals: social relevance, symbolism, originality, and economy of words. Zai fengcheng (In the Wind City), Lu (Road), and Dudu yousheng de mati (Sounds of the Horse Hoofs) are some of his publications.