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 geographical areas.

Poem for the day

Dirt Road

  • by Meifu Wang

  • The dirt road and I, we resemble each other—
  • not very modern, nor durable.
  • In a camera lens, you will see us through a yellow haze.
  • If you wish to follow the road to the coconut beach,
  • it will take you a morning and an afternoon on foot,
  • but there is always a charming fragrance along the way.
  • When I close my eyes, I hear footsteps—
  • in groups of threes or fives, light and lively,
  • a chorus of footsteps, like a song with wings
  • that lifts me out of despair.

  • I would listen to it in the morning.
  • I would listen to it in the afternoon.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 4