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Shining a light on new trends in poetry

Updated: 2012-07-31 10:52
By Mei Jia ( China Daily)

Shining a light on new trends in poetry

Trends Media Group President Liu Jiang reveals in his latest work, Poetic Trend, his thoughts on love, business, travel and life. Provided to China Daily

Sitting in his fashion empire, crowned by 17 trend and lifestyle magazines that he started 19 years ago, Trends Media Group President Liu Jiang is a peaceful, thoughtful explorer of life's positive energy through poetry.

Liu's latest collection, Poetic Trend, launched mid-July in Beijing, shows his friends and business associates a surprising aspect of the author - sensitive to nature and beauty, adventurous, and persistent about recording his feelings and experiences in a plain and philosophical language.

"To me, fashion is not only about luxuries, it's an upward attitude that supplies positive energy to the human spirit. It's the same with what I do with poetry," the 56-year-old says, talking in a sincere and confidential tone. "And I seldom complain or hate, or let emotions linger."

Liu, laughing, describes himself as being too frank and says if he gives a public lecture he sometimes offends people by revealing more than expected.

He borrowed money to start his extensive empire in a rented yard.

In the early 1990s, when the country was adjusting itself to the new market economy, Liu was a pioneer who emphasized the quality of the first Trends magazine and focused on advertisements, which won him a return of 200,000 yuan ($31,400) in the first year.

Now his magazines take up 15.5 percent of the country's magazine market share, and have more than 1,000 employees.

Liu recalls the hard days, when he tried to borrow money for the first issues but was refused.

In his poem, The Yard for Trends, a seven-stanza work dedicated to his business startup, he writes without anguish or pain, and tells the story in a happy tone of several faithful people realizing their dreams.

The same approach is revealed in his account of historical events: "I write about my thoughts on the 'cultural revolution' (1966-76), but nothing cruel or bloody about it," he says.

"But the times changed with the country's economic growth. I'm grateful for the age and the society that I'm in. So, I decided to be a contributor to prove that in times like these meaningful change can be achieved through effort."

"That's where my affirmative power comes from, and where my poems rooted."

Liu says heartfelt happiness is his primary when it comes to business management.

Liu was formerly a Chinese literature major and worked as a journalist. He has been writing poems since junior high and had his first collection, Love Deep in Time, published 20 years ago.

Critics noted the first collection of poems was easy to follow and full of love.

He has continued to write even as he has developed his business.

The new collection is a selection of 100 poems created over the past 20 years. They're divided into four sections, recording his thoughts on love, travel, business and life.

"His poems show a bright and healthy orientation that I think will shine strongly in leading trends," says Li Xiaoyu, poetry critic and editor.

"That's what made him successful in the business world, because fashion is all about leading a lifestyle," Li says.

Li adds Liu's themed poems on starting and developing Trends business is remarkably moving.

"He knows how to control his language and emotion, and how to approach a deeper level with a light and relaxed expression," she says.

"I believe poetry still has its audience," Liu says.

"What I intend to do is to contribute with fresh and musical pieces that are inspiring."

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