These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
ISBN 978-1939426-05-5

21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 8 (July 2013)

This issue features the poetry of Chen Min 陈敏, Song Yu 宋雨, Li Yun 李云,Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙, Yao Feng 姚风, Na Ye 娜夜, Wuding 巫丁, Huang Lihai 黄礼孩, Song Huiyuan 宋惠元, Meifu Wang 王美富.

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Chen Min 陈敏

Song Yu 宋雨

Li Yun 李云(七月的海)

Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙

  • At Night  |  夜晚
  • A Day  |  一天
  • Items in My Estate  |  遗物

Yao Feng 姚風

Na Ye 娜夜

Wuding 巫丁

Huang Lihai 黄礼孩

  • Things Get Rearranged  |  一些事物被重新安排
  • A Little Critter  |  小 兽
  • Silhouette  |  背影

Song Huiyuan 宋惠元(柳思)

Meifu Wang 王美富

  • Mountain Crag  |  山岩
  • Prisoners of War  |  战俘
  • To Melville  |  致梅尔维尔

From 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 8

  • Oh, which lacquer-tree cutter would not want you?
  • Until young men call, and elders urge them on,
  • and nursing mothers with sweet warm bosoms join in,
  • and dry-eyed foot-binding grandmothers chime in:
  • .
  • Blushing Red, maiden in red,
  • around the bend and over the hills,
  • Oh, Blushing Red. Yo!
  • — Chen Min, Blushing Red, Tender Red

  • Ow, Mama!
  • I really don’t like you combing my hair so much.
  • I can’t sit still. Outside, grasses are all sprouting, Mama.
  • You still want to give me red hair ties and green hair ties.
  • While calling me a little spoiled brat,
  • you braided my hair like twisted dough.
  • My comrades in the field are shouting battle cries;
  • — Song Yu, Ow, Mama!

  • It is almost like a daze, déjà vu,
  • to feel this cool wind, this cold moonlight.
  • Are stones cold too?
  • .
  • Oh, this one is a monster,
  • but, of course, it could have been a hoax.
  • — Li Yun, At Shizu Stone Ruin

  • My genius and my bones,
  • the dialects I know,
  • the rivers, islands, island chains and galaxies I saw,
  • the cattle and sheep I fed in the barn,
  • the illnesses I contracted,
  • all of them are items I leave to my estate.
  • — Zhai Wenxi, Items in My Estate

  • We giggle, the more our happiness and sadness
  • depend on physical activities, the more we need to flush
  • onto the glossy beach our unwanted wine bottles,
  • syringes, tissues, and condoms.
  • .
  • But the ocean really doesn't need these things,
  • not even the high points of our humanity.
  • — Yao Feng, Ocean Really Doesn't Need These Things

  • A wind came by and blew my scarf into the monastery,
  • it was then when we passed each other, rubbing shoulders.
  • Ah, Lama, you were huffing and puffing, going down the mountain. But why?
  • — Na Ye, Song of Labrang Monastery

  • It's tempting but too dangerous to look back.
  • The wind is picking up, bending the sunlight,
  • but it cannot move an old iron bloc of days
  • that rubbed against the skin of my tempestuous youth.
  • — Wuding, The Lotus Pond Jam Session

  • Three feet of moonlight away,
  • a little critter zigzags through the grass,
  • the green waves soon drown its tail.
  • .
  • They say it was a goddess
  • that rolled out a soft field on earth--
  • soft because it's a mat of dreams.
  • — Huang Lihai, A Little Critter

  • if only I can endure through this finite stretch of night,
  • surely I will catch up with the light again.
  • Whoever follows me, they can again see the light,
  • because, the sun is my football.
  • — Song Huiyuan, Kua Fu

  • If there is still a convulsion
  • or any sign of life in the bullet hole,
  • follow up with another shot.
  • The barrel of the rifle,
  • black tempered steel,
  • knows no hesitation.
  • .
  • Oh, almond tree,
  • suddenly I miss you,
  • doubly I love you,
  • your black iron hooks.
  • — Meifu Wang, Prisoners of War