King’s College ⎮ Cambridge

Xu Zhimo is regarded as the father of modern Chinese poetry. He arrived in Cambridge for the first time in 1921 to study politics, sociology and history at King’s College and it was during this time that he started to write poetry.

Xu was to visit Cambridge twice more and following the second of these visits in 1928 he wrote the poem “Second Farewell to Cambridge.” This poem is taught throughout China as an introduction to poetry.

In July 2008, a memorial stone, in white Beijing marble, was installed in King’s in Xu Zhimo’s memory. This memorial to Xu Zhimo is adjacent to the path near the willows by the bridge over the Cam, and is inscribed with the first and last two lines of “Second Farewell to Cambridge”.

The Xu Zhimo Memorial Garden was envisaged and built over a two-year period. It was opened in August 2018 during the fourth annual Cambridge Xu Zhimo Poetry and Art Festival.

The garden is designed around two central beds in a yin yang pattern. The curve of the beds is echoed by a cast crescent bench that features willow leaves in relief on the seat. The new planting is extensively Chinese whilst the whole garden sits within a mature wooded area adjacent to the river Cam.

The following film and photographs were created during the building of the garden.

Short Time Lapse Film of the Building of the Garden

This was shot over about 12 months during the major construction stage. Careful editing has combined a large number of sequences together with a selection of stills.

360o Photograph of the Xu Zhimo Memorial Garden

This photograph was taken in Spring 2019. It shows the complete garden. Simply scroll left to right and up and down.


A selection of photographs of the individuals that created the Garden.