The poetry of GU Cheng is the fairy tale world built in the uncontaminated remote place beyond the unsatisfactory reality. He is the most avant-garde among poets of Chinese modern misty poem group in that he broke out of societal main discourse and proceeded toward infinite freedom of the individual self.
His fairy tale world began with the experience of Xia-fang(下放) due to cultural revolution in his childhood and with the influences of Andersen`s fairy tales and Fabre`s Entomological Souvenirs. Sympathy with vital nature which he experienced in a farm village of Shandong caused him to deny the material and monetary life burdened from urban life after growth. Through the dual structure of seed, village, nature contrary to coin, city, material, he established fairy tale world like Tao Yuan-ming (陶淵明)`s Shangri la(世外桃源), which is filled with self and the child mind.
The people invited at the fairy tale world GU Cheong dreamed are women who obtained pure and clean female`s temperament getting out of the man power-centered world greedy for power and money. They are innocent women like children, and simultaneously idealistic ones with Buddha`s mercy who accept and endure their wayward behaviors.
In reality, the poet, through the eccentric love with his wives Xieye(謝 燁) and Yinger(英兒), wanted to build his own `girls` nation`(女兒國) and to be a prince like Jia Baoyu(賈寶玉) in The Dreams of Red Mansions《紅 樓夢》. However, his kingdom ended with his tragic suicide and the murder of wife owing to actual surviving environment and women`s socialization and corruption.
Considering Chinese traditional Taoist thought of `doing nothing, there is nothing incapable`(無爲無不爲) and emancipation of selflessness in Zen as a spiritual weapon, GU Cheng recognized the death as returning to nature, pastime, and the rest from tiring present life. Besides, influenced by Bible, Dante, Lorca, and Whitman, he intended to search for suicide, taboo in Chinese culture, and find aesthetic meaning of the death newly. His poetry, the fairy tale world of uniting love and beauty, became the national fable for secular corruption of Chinese culture in the end of the century, and his death also became the last mythology of Chinese modern poetry.