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

A Petite Flower in Ta'er Monastery

  • by Hu Yonggang

  • In the low ground, even lower, I saw a petite flower.
  • Its head comes out of dense grass, quietly approaching the sunlight,

  • and its golden tendrils, resting on the leaves, dazzle in the sun.
  • It bends menially in the wind as if a pilgrim is giving greetings.

  • It has a dream unknown to all, hidden under tall grasses,
  • but each time a wind blows by, the little flower sees its innermost self.

  • Walking by the petite flower, I feel curiously calm.
  • Dewdrops moisten my garment, my inner emptiness and loneliness.

  • Afar, a prayer in the snow sways his praying wheel,
  • then prostrates lower than the flower, like the wild grass on the plateau.

  • In this vermillion monastery, flowers are the most touching sight,
  • and no passage in the sutra is more vivid than the mutual dependence of two hearts.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 1