These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
  • I'm waiting in the land of poetry. Waiting in hope for its clanging sounds and forceful roaring past! -Ren Xianqing, Issue 1
  • Now we are on board, let's not bring up any depressing topics; no more debates about the pet peeves in those capitalist countries.

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 geographic areas.

Poem of the day

Seductive Wind

  • by Li Shangyu

  • The telephone is ringing,
  • up blows a blackish-green wind,
  • a seductive wind . . . for one’s lost living,
  • but soon telephone wire, computer wire, and so on and so forth,
  • all come to intrude in continuous coils; he feels himself bound by wires.

  • Annoyed by wires without end, feeling restricted,
  • the bedroom, the parlor, the kitchen, all have become
  • Interrogation Time, but where is his arbitrator?
  • But in China, the Law only judges the feeble.

  • Seductive Wind, tell him, life only comes once.
  • In the Song Dynasty, men were killed casually, knights walked everywhere.
  • The telephone rings, puffs the green blackish wind,
  • Spring Girl, seductive wind, but he only feels China’s summer malaise.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 6