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 who 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 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.

Please send all enquiries, suggestions and corrections regarding 21st Century Chinese Poetry to Meifu Wang at:

editor@modernchinesepoetry.com.

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

A NEW SEASON OF POETRY

We are happy to report our partnership with China's Poetry Journal (诗刊), a bi-weekly poetry journal, the oldest and widest-circulated poetry journal in China.

Every month editors of Poetry Journal provide us a set of poems from their latest publications for our team to screen and translate.

ABOUT CHINA POETRY JOURNAL 《诗刊》介绍


China's Poetry Journal(诗刊) was founded in 1957 with an emphasis not only on the publication of contemporary Chinese poetry, but also the publication of classical poetry by living poets. In addition, it announces poetry gatherings and events across the country, hosts literary criticism forums, and supports poetry translation. The daily operations of the journal are supervised by The Chinese Writers’ Association.

Each month Poetry Journal publishes three paperback journals. The first paperback journal is published in the beginning of the month and features poems by established poets. The second paperback is published in the middle of the month and features poems by emerging poets. The third is called The Sage Said, which features poetry in classical forms. The journal also maintains a website that broadcasts all matters related to poetry development in China; it has an audience exceeding half a million visitors daily.

Circulating close to sixty years, the journal has been at the forefront of publishing modern Chinese poetry, reflecting many of the sweeping changes that the country has witnessed over that period. The journal has also brought together and introduced a great number of fine poets, published a veritable styles of poems, and contributed to the continuous flowering of Chinese poetry.


POEM OF THE DAY 每日一首

OLD TIMES

  • by Zhai Wenjie

  • A village lay low in the plain,
  • with its small humble old houses.
  • A stool in front of the old house,
  • my small mother sat on the small stool.
  • She stood with the dwarf wheat,
  • the wind blew over the field, hugging the ground.
  • The wind brushed over the golden wheat,
  • Mother’s bean field, ripe in the wind.
  • Dwarfish wind crossed no mountains;
  • it slowly walked over the shallows.
  • Water in the shallows flowed beautifully in the wind,
  • the low-lying village swayed beautifully in the wind.
  • Mother sat in times past,
  • the lowly old times, a beautiful thing it is.

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists, a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Michael Soper, Peter Micic & Johan Ramaekers

  • Simultaneouly broadcast in China via WeChat (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/rAaX8MjFfwHPyKINssXrFg


DUCK YARD LYRICISTS 鸭先知翻译团

  • Poetry is all about Life.

  • Since the publication of our Number 15, we have experienced a lot of it.
  • Meifu moved from the Atlantic to the Pacific; she opened a business near Seattle, and hosted the Silk Road Artists there; she traveled in China, and had discussions with the editors of China’s Poetry Journal(诗刊) regarding translation.
  • Mike Soper, a co-translator, survived cancer and published a few more books.
  • Peter Micic, another co-translator, roamed China in search of folk music and tea.
  • Johan Ramaekers, from Belgium, a song lyricist, has joined Duck Yard Lyricists.
  • We have all been writing and translating poetry.
  • We have stayed in touch with every intention of re-introducing 21st Century Chinese Poetry to the English-speaking world.
  • We call our team “Duck Yard Lyricists”, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Ugly Duckling.
  • We are making efforts that poetry, good poetry, gets passed around, to make sure the fire doesn't go out.
  • Duck Yard Lyricists welcome you to read POEM OF THE DAY.