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 geographic areas.

Poem for the day

Urgent Autumn Wind

  • by Li Tong

  • Long sleeves sprint to market
  • at the quickest speed. I must thank the rain drops
  • that came unusually early this year, and seize a business opportunity.

  • Flowery skirts, skimpy dresses slow down the wind,
  • and I almost dare not turn around to look at them.
  • The wind is picking up under my eyes. What would it take away with it?

  • --- A lot of dissatisfaction is festering inside of me,
  • a little of it turns into busy actions
  • just like one tender little tree.

  • Loose leaves fill the street, but no one is paying attention
  • to season’s change. As for me, a woman making a living from the wind.
  • It’s - - - Oh, Wind - - - truly you are my sustenance.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 7