These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world.                  (All rights reserved.)
ISBN 978-0-9840097-2-5
21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 1 (Sep 2011)

This issue features  the poetry of  Ren Xianqing  任先青,  Zhang Zuogeng  张作梗,  Gao Pengcheng  高鹏程,   Li Xianzhen 李宪珍 (兰雪), Yang Zi  杨梓, Wei Xue 未雪, Yang Xie 杨邪,  Zhang Shaobao 张少保,  Hu Yonggang  胡永刚(青海湖), Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙, Xin You 辛酉,  and Huang Hongqi 黄鸿琦.

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Ren Xianqing 任先青

Zhang Zuogeng 张作梗

Gao Pengcheng 高鹏程

  • The Wall  |  
  • Going to the Fish Market  |  纪事:赶早市的渔妇
  • The Race  |  奔跑

Li Xianzhen 李宪珍(兰雪)

Yang Zi 杨梓

Wei Xue 未雪

Yang Xie 杨邪

Zhang Shaobao 张少保

Hu Yonggang 胡永刚(青海湖)

Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙

Xin You 辛酉

Huang Hongqi 黄鸿琦

  • Vernal Longing  |  青涩的思念
  • The Spirit of the Night  |  夜之灵

From 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 1

  • I'm waiting for a train in the land of poetry.
  • Waiting in hope for its clanging sounds and forceful roaring past!
  • Let its display of great momentum shock and traverse me.
  • As if eager for a grand celebration to approach, I'm the very first
  • to hear my own thumping heart.
  • — Ren Xianqing, Waiting for a Train in the Land of Poetry

  • It's as if the snowy night was her premeditated design—
  • a white conspiracy to blot out the sky
  • and cover up the earth.
  • The snowy night was needed for her narrative.
  • Amid the sustained snow, she gave the tree a noble touch
  • and decorated it with pure affection.
  • — Zhang Zuogeng, Visiting the Plum Tree on a Snowy Night

  • I am not alluding to the body and flesh of a generation
  • but only about someplace that looked like
  • someone’s undecorated room. That was the year when I visited
  • a remote schoolhouse in the country.
  • On one flaking wall, the red slogan “Long, Long Live…!” was still visible,
  • — Gao Pengcheng, The Wall

  • At first she paints a man,
  • and then a woman.
  • The moment the man and the woman
  • meet, she hears a burst of burning pitter-patter sound.
  • In just a short time,
  • the canvas
  • turns into
  • ash,
  • — Li Xianzhen, Fatal Fantasy

  • Now, River Aiyi that comes from the Yellow River and returns to it
  • passes the front of our house; this is where I like to sit
  • with my friends from far away. Together we admire the northern steppe,
  • but once they leave, I quickly turn nostalgic for the Yangtze River again.
  • — Yang Zi, A River Runs by Our House

  • Previously I thought
  • they took opposing stands only on paper.
  • Their indignation sounded more or less feeble and
  • too weak to withstand any headwinds.
  • Those in power laughed, and the rich mocked:
  • “Let them go crazy.”
  • Their screams were as pale as their complexions,
  • — Wei Xue, The Poet's Indignation

  • At Central Square, on the lawn in the heart of the Square,
  • I was there to erect my sculpture—a gigantic limestone egg.
  • .
  • I, a prominent sculptor, together with my creation that
  • spoke for the soul of the city—we were surrounded by a crowd of puzzled citizens,
  • — Yang Xie, The Sculpture

  • In the past, the emperor himself conducted
  • the dance performance, so extravagant
  • that it lit up the whole country.
  • — Zhang Shaobao, The Dance in Tang Dynasty Style

  • In this vermillion monastery,
  • flowers are the most touching sight,
  • and no passage in the sutra is more vivid
  • than the mutual dependence of two hearts.
  • — Hu Yonggang, A Petite Flower in Taer Monastery

  • Seven steps up, nine steps
  • down the mountain and across the field,
  • people carried their poisoned arrows
  • to avenge a family feud,
  • hunt wild beasts, and punish widows who sinned.
  • .
  • For more than 200 years, an antiaris forest
  • survived the abuse of military nobles,
  • — Zhai Wenxi, Antiaris Toxicaria (Poison Arrow Tree)

  • In his writing, he took great pains
  • to sing the praises of stones—obstinate ones
  • with rough edges, contending with wind and gale.
  • In his verses, he liked to write about weeds,
  • the weeds trampled on by animals and
  • those nibbled and gnawed by birds and beasts.
  • In the rain, the plants raised their heads high.
  • — Xin You, An Epitaph

  • To avoid giving her a mundane greeting,
  • I put down a verse:
  • “Oh, go ask the Eastern River
  • if he flows farther than my love for you!”
  • — Huang Hongqi, Vernal Longing