The quarterly journal of 21st Century Chinese Poetry was founded with the intention of introducing modern Chinese poetry to readers worldwide.
Modern Chinese poetry was born from the broader intellectual movement that took place in China around 1917-1921, known as the May-Fourth Movement;
for the first time in history, vernacular Chinese was accepted as a legitimate poetic voice.
This poetic movement hasn't stopped evolving since then but only accelerated recently because of the easy exchange of styles and ideas over cyberspace.
This is an eye-opening, exciting and even confounding experience for both the poets and the readers.
The editor-and-translator team of 21st Century Chinese Poetry selects some of the best poems written in Chinese by today's poets from all geographical areas.
Poem for the day
Mother’s Cotton Flowers
- by Zhang Fanxiu
- Cotton flowers speak only to my mother.
- Their green pods were dumb for the entire summer,
- but Mother teaches them to open their mouths.
- She bends down to pick up their words, one by one,
- and leaves them on the branches to dry in the sun.
- As they talk, cotton locks burst open.
- Once their tongues taste the sweetness,
- they all flock to Mother’s bosom
- like little children vying for her hugs and kisses.
- Watching Mother in the flowering bushes,
- watching her move in tiny steps,
- I hear the softest whispers coming to rest
- in her hands.
- from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 6