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》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 of the day 一日一首

Ode to An Orchid

  • Liu Congmei

  • Youlan, hidden orchid,
  • concealed in thick woods on a high hill,
  • ordinary people don’t see her still.

  • Youlan, secluded orchid,
  • she does not need to overdress,
  • surpassing the loveliest immortal goddess.

  • Youlan, ghostly orchid,
  • her floating fragrance surrounds,
  • enchanting every heart around.

  • Youlan, tranquil orchid,
  • her beautiful song is a mysterious thing,
  • lightly plucking, gently touching heart strings.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 6