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:

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

Poem of the day 一日一首

Spring Comes to Tai'erzhuang

  • by Li Yun

  • Tai'erzhuang, Tai'erzhuang, yesterday you saw war,
  • this morning you saw spring.
  • You see, the crabapple trees in Mr. Wan's courtyards
  • are now blooming, white inside, a touch of pink,
  • a serene field of sweet scents and charm.

  • Sweet scents and charm, no end of it, Ah!
  • I am not at all detached from this.
  • Last night I came by to deliver the stars for you.
  • This morning I stayed because of a flowering tree.

  • Tai'erzhuang, Tai'erzhuang, right now,
  • standing here with you,
  • at this moment, I sing of spring's splendor.
  • War, Peace,
  • Peace, War,
  • they have made me a different person.

  • Tai'er Village, while these blossoms
  • dance around you.
  • I must bear an old sorrow,
  • congealed inside here,
  • congealed within the memory.

  • Oh, Tai'erzhuang, I am not a flower witch,
  • but a woman warrior, born here, now bleeding for you.
  • I hear a low chant in the revolving light,
  • om-mani-pad-me-hum.
  • At last a monk will speak to my soul and lead me away.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 8