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

Untitled

  • by Yan Meijiu

  • The kungfu of being invisible was lost
  • before the Song Dynasty, a modern scholar claimed,
  • but the truth is that in our beautiful country,
  • many still practice this art superbly.
  • They are different from the old master Luo Gongyuan,
  • who did it to frighten the emperor when chiding him.
  • Neither do they delude themselves like some ancient fool
  • who believed in his mental power to become invisible
  • and asked a tiger for its hide.
  • The modern-day experts live in the monasteries
  • to pray at the alter and sing praises of Nature's serenity.
  • They know every secret path in and out of the mountains,
  • and hold their tongues when necessary.
  • They live invisibly at life's outskirts with perfect temperaments.
  • Year after year, without looking right or left,
  • they no longer see the crushed skull by the road.


  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 4