Wu Sheng has written vivid poems about rural life and the land since the 1960s, when he became one of Taiwan’s most popular poets. His poems are rooted in the soil, imbued with an unshakable affinity for the people who till it, sweat over it, and eventually are buried in it, and serve as his personal response to the industrialization, urbanization and globalization of his vanishing world.
He has remained attached to his nativist roots, and the occasional moralizing in his poems, particularly those addressed to children, continues a long literary tradition in China. Many of his poems have the directness of song lyrics, and indeed, many have been set to music in two published sets of cds. Though well-read in modernist and other poetic styles, Wu Sheng developed a style that is ever-linked to his home and its geography.