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 journal of

21st Century Chinese Poetry 《廿一世纪中国诗歌》is an independent journal committed to showcasing the best of contemporary Chinese poetry. We exist to discover and celebrate poetry and the Chinese poets that write them with the largest possible Anglophone audience.

In the early twentieth century, The May Fourth Movement (1917-1921) launched an era where vernacular Chinese was for the first time accepted as a legitimate poetic voice. This was followed by an outpouring of verse written in 'plain speech' by people from all walks of life in contrast to the classical, elitist poetic forms of imperial China.

A century has now almost passed since these 'new' poetic voices emerged. Vernacular poetry has continued to blossom in poetry journals and in cyberspace.

The editor and translators at 21st Century Chinese Poetry are committed to translating poets from across China who would otherwise remain virtually unknown to Western audiences.

All enquiries, suggestions and corrections regarding 21st Chinese Poetry should be directed to Meifu Wang at:

editor@modernchinesepoetry.com.

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

Poem of the day 一日一首

Total Eclipse of the Moon

  • by Wa Dao

  • I dug a hole for the moon, to bury it
  • so the sky would be calmer, darker, and deeper----
  • made for an elope or going astray.
  • A boat is hidden in the swaying reeds,
  • on board is the money I brought for you.
  • Wait for a cue from a crow or the wind
  • and launch the boat into the rocking waves
  • through the fog.

  • But don't tarry too long before you return, say two years,
  • in the spring when lives and greenery re-emerge.
  • You shall ride on a big ship
  • and come to dock on the riverfront, next to the throngs of people.
  • There we may by chance meet again
  • like two crickets missing an old rivalry, touching
  • before re-engaging in three hundred rounds of wrestling,
  • that is to say if we don't just walk on by,
  • letting our eyes sparkle just to say goodbye.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 2