Taiwan Poetry Road
Located in Yanshuei District’s Tianliao Village, Poetry Road is a rustic country lane that pays tribute to the works of some of Taiwan’s most notable poets. Poetry Road was the brainchild of Taiwanese literature enthusiast Lin Ming-kun. In the year 2000, Lin engraved 99 poems by 67 contemporary poets into ceramic strips which have been set into a serpentine brick wall that graces the roadside. This first series of poems runs from Taiwan’s 1923 New Cultural Movement when China was emerging from its dynastic period to the present day. They represent a century of great change and dynamism in Chinese literature, a time when poets began experimenting with writing in the vernacular and exploring modern themes.
In 2017, the second series of poems consisting of 90 works dating from the Kingdom of Tungning (1661 to 1683, the beginning of Chinese rule in Taiwan) through the Qing Dynasty was added to create a complete retrospective of Taiwanese poetry set in the open air of the Chinese countryside.
Poetry Road is bordered by traditional courtyard houses and offers scenic vistas of quiet farmland and rice paddies. The area is awash in flowers—depending on the time of year, visitors may find themselves treated to cotton tree, golden trumpet tree, or golden rain tree blossoms, lotus, yellow bells, frangipani, roselle hibiscus and more. The natural landscape forms the perfect backdrop for an afternoon of tea and contemplation and has made Poetry Road a favorite spot among locals and visitors alike.
Poems that can be found here range from Chang Shui-po’s Sightings of Spring at Chihkan Tower to Yeh Jung-chung’s ruminations on the 228 Incident (which marked the beginning of the White Terror era of the 1950s, when thousands of Taiwanese were arrested, imprisoned, and executed for their political beliefs). Collectively, these nearly 200 poems are designed to provide both spiritual enrichment and a greater awareness of Taiwan’s 350-year literary history.
Even for visitors unable to read the poems, this is a tranquil place to take a quiet stroll, relax in the open-air pavilion, or enjoy some refreshments and good conversation in the local B&B coffee shop. You may find yourself inspired to create some poetry of your own.
No. 68, Tianliao, Yanshui Dist., Tainan City
+886 6 6551732