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.

From the editor:

Our journal is shifting gear. Collaboration with a poetry journal located in Central Plain, China is forthcoming. Season 2 will return with a grown editorial group and an expanded translator team.

Till then.

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

At Night

  • by Zhai Wenxi

  • His nose has fallen into disuse like a gentleman's pipe.
  • But, of course, we see only superficial time,
  • the framework instilled by a pendulum clock.
  • ”No one wants to doze off now unless he is a pea-brain."
  • Just as he reminds himself that, a breeze climbs up the stairs
  • to ride on the springy tree branches.
  • The moon always clings to the spire as if playing an old shtick.
  • A woman sleeps in the room.
  • Chairs gossip among themselves.
  • People guard their thoughts, which they seldom exchange.
  • "Beer froth can drown a soul."
  • but he stays sober.
  • Not too far away, a lonely nightingale tests his voice on the dark mountaintop.
  • He lies on his belly,
  • and slowly moves across the room,
  • floating on the moonlight
  • that has entered the window and flooded the room.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 8