The poet, Jin Lian, has been a marginal existence in modern poetic society of Taiwan. This reflects the bias in the poetic society for a long time and its imperceptiveness towards the bias. This bias was caused by an obsession of style in modern poetry and a desire for beauty in wording. The extreme of the former one is brutality and severance in format; the extreme of the latter one is beauty and elegance in wording. Both formulated the obscure vanity and smarmy artificiality in the meaning of modern poetry. However, it was not what the cross-lingual poet, Jin Lian, was good at or wanted to do.
For the past half-century, Jin Lian wrote from pre-war to post-war, from Japanese to Chinese. Growing from romanticism, through modernism, and back to realism, his strong hold to poetry has always remained the same. Jin Lian successfully conquered the difficulty in the transition of language barrier, exceeding the language itself to use bi-lingual, both Chinese and Japanese, to write. Also, in the style of modernism, he had extremely post-modern creation and experiments to include the content which was closely related to the political reality and social impulse. He descended from the avant-garde of modernism in Taiwan new literature and inherited the spirit of rebellion in the deepness and width of Taiwan new literature.
Jin Lian was a heterogeneous existence in Taiwan poetic society. His social position was different from other contemporary poets. The differences in view made him to write different poems. Almost all his life, he worked for the railroad company. He wrote quite a few poems about railroad. In the massive amount of lyrics, he expressed his sadness and sensitivity about his time and personal fate. In his poetic style of existentialism, the critical consciousness on politics and society was hidden. The poet not only created poetry unremittingly but also translated many works, including Japanese poetry and Japanese poetic critics. Acting as a poetic bridge between Taiwan and Japan, he introduced Taiwan poetry to Japan and earned great achievements. As to this kind of heterogeneous and distinctive existence, we should not continue to neglect.