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Linyi’s “Curtain Couple”: Crafting a Poetic Life

LINYI, China

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, Liao Peisheng, 41, and his wife Liu Xiaohui, 39, manage a curtain shop in the Luozhuang District of Linyi, Shandong. Their claim to fame comes from their participation in the Chinese Poetry Competition, earning them the endearing title of the "Curtain Couple."

Engaged daily in the art of curtains, measuring life with a ruler and fabric, the couple commutes each morning to their shop on an electric bike. Liao installs curtains, while Liu takes charge of tailoring.

"I have a penchant for ancient Chinese poetry and its rhythmic allure," Liu shares. "Since our marriage, I find solace in reading classical poetry whenever time allows, often encouraging my husband to join me."

The routine nature of crafting curtains necessitates the couple's continual presence in the store. To infuse creativity into their work, they inscribe poems on paper, placing them near the sewing machine or directly onto the curtains. Sometimes, Liu starts a line, and Liao completes it. Occasionally, they engage in the poetic game of Feihualing. Nearly every curtain they craft comes paired with a carefully selected poem, such as one for curtains adorned with peony patterns: "In the season of blooming flowers, only peonies truly embody the nation's beauty." Or for those with peach blossom patterns: "A cluster of peach blossoms, charming in deep or light red?"

"Through ancient poetry, I connect with the breathtaking landscapes of our homeland, the gentle smoke rising from pastoral kitchens, and the spirited ideals of literati. Reciting these verses while making curtains makes every day feel like a journey through poetic beauty," expresses Liu.

In the curtain shop, poetry seamlessly intertwines with their lives. Liu concludes, "Curtain making may be arduous, but poetry transforms the toil into sweetness."

Source: Government of Luozhuang District