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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Battle of words over the future of poetry (4)

(China Daily)

12:23, January 27, 2012

Many young poets believe it is the best time for China's modern poetry. "Thanks to the Internet, now students can write their poetry online and paste the verses on different platforms: BBS (bulletin board systems), forums or pure literature websites," said Yu Huaiyu, the founder of Poetry Paper website, one of the three largest poetry websites, which handles more than 1,000 discussion threads every day online.

Hundreds of thousands of literature-relevant websites have transformed the landscape and given new blood to the medium, say devotees.

Poetry Paper has more than 10,000 active members from home and abroad.

"It is an era of thriving online poetry for ordinary people," said Yu, speaking about the website he established 10 years ago. "Poets freely share with each other online."

The people writing on the website are divided equally among those born in the 1960s and 1970s, those born in the 1980s and those born in the 1990s.

Modern poetry pioneer Bei Dao said in an interview with Xinhua that the young generation of readers who grew up in the era of commercialization could not escape the impact of the times.

Nowadays young poets or young people trying to write poetry focus on the pragmatic issues of daily life, among them the great pressures from living an urban life, the high cost of buying a home, and romantic issues.

"Before, poets cared more about social responsibility. Of course, it should have been their concern, but we can see more how much they cared now young people center on their own lives and spirit," said Xu Demin, who founded Fudan Poets Society in 1981.

"Poetry is more like a pipe transmitting various emotions in today's society," said Wang Chenlong, 24, former president of the student poets society at Minzu University of China, Beijing. "In many society members' minds our society has already been playing a role like other kinds of societies, such as animation groups or skateboard clubs. In their eyes, there is no difference."

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