A woman, a farmer, and a poet
Updated: 2015-01-31 06:58
The village where Yu lives. [Photo/qq.com]
Tagged as the "poetess with cerebral palsy and a seemingly paradoxical ‘China's Emily Dickinson’" in media reports, Yu Xiuhua was elected as the vice president of the writers' association of Zhongxiang city, Hubei province, on Thursday.
Yu, 39, attained fame overnight. She broke through social media WeChat recently after a poetry magazine tweeted her poem, Crossing big China to sleep with you.
"Whenever we had guests, she would crawl along the ridge of the field," her father Yu Wenhai recalled. "I always imagined that she was trying to prove something."
To enable her to attend school she was carried by her parents or supported by her younger brother. It was during her schools days that she found solace in writing poems.
In a piece she wrote in middle school, which won her a school award, she compared herself to an obscure star in the sky. Reflecting on it many years later, she said: "I don't envy those who live 'better' lives than me. I won't resign to adversity."
She left senior high school one year before graduation and later got married to a man whom she "didn't choose out of love". They soon separated and the only legacy of the unhappy union was a son, who is now in university.
Every day, after tending to farm animals, she sets pen to paper and escapes into her internal world.
In one piece, she writes about her hometown of Hengdian village:
When the Mochou Lake becomes dry,
A map of Hengdian will appear at its bottom,
In the shape of a butterfly.
She also pictured love that she never had:
In half of the big China, everything could happen,
Drained rivers, volcano eruption;
The ignored prisoners and refugees on the run,
The elks and red-crowned cranes under the gun;
Through the storm of shots and shells,
I am coming to accost you.