“Lost Verses” in the Global Times

I came across this feature on Xi Chuan and contemporary Chinese poetry, which I thought gave an impressive take both on the growth of contemporary Chinese poetry in the ’80s and Xi Chuan’s place in that growth. Here’s an excerpt from the second part of the article:

During the poetry fever, various groups of poets—categorized by Xi Chuan into new poetry by underground poets, archaic poetry by retired bureaucrats and romantic poetry published in Poetry Monthly— were competing against each other.

“Underground poets nationwide swarmed to Beijing. We lived under the same roof to talk, eating and writing together. All poets were brothers,” Xi recalled.

Nonetheless, these poets were always considered “the most dangerous figures” in the official rhetoric, Xi said.

“The way of underground poetry movement was never smooth. For some, independent literature may turn reactionary as an outlet for people to air grievances and discontent,” said Xi Chuan, frowning and shaking his head.