The far from obvious connection between China and Cambridge is Xu Zhimo, who is one of the few Chinese poets known in the West. Xu Zhimo was born in 1887, and studied in both the United States and England, especially Cambridge where among other things he discovered the works of the English romantic poets Keats
, translating them both into Chinese.
Yesterday, the BBC spoke
to a Chinese PhD student at Cambridge, and a Chinese tourist, for whom the city has become a virtual Mecca.
Xu Zhimo's poem in Chinese Taking Leave Of Cambridge Again
(various transliterations) is said to be taught in every school in China. Like Shelley, Xu Zhimo died young; he was killed in a plane crash on November 19, 1931, but also like Shelley he has earned his place in immortality. In 2008, a memorial stone was erected to him at King's College.