Seminar on Li Yu's Poetry

Professor Jihai Gao from Henan University delivers a seminar on Li Yu’s unexpected ascension to the throne and his famed Ci-poetry.

On 23 August, Professor Jihai Gao from Henan University was invited by Confucius Institute at UNSW and the Chinese Studies Program at the UNSW School of Humanities and Languages to deliver a literary seminar entitled “Walking into the World of Li Yu”.

Professor Gao gave a fascinating overview of Li Yu’s life, which took an unexpected turn when chance placed him on the throne as King of the Southern Tang Dynasty. A selection of Li Yu’s Ci-poems were examined, including his poems describing luxurious life in the palace, his passionate love for his two wives, and his lament over the loss of his position and land when the Song Army seized power in the capital and took him prisoner.

Lively discussion followed the seminar, as members of the audience debated Professor Gao’s assessment of Li Yu. The seminar concluded that despite him being unqualified in his role as king, with respect to his poetry, Li Yu was one of the greatest in ancient China.

Students with an interest in Chinese culture delighted in gaining in-depth, scholarly insight into such a fascinating topic of Chinese literature and history.


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