Latest News:  
Beijing   Light snow/Cloudy    -2 / -8   City Forecast

People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Battle of words over the future of poetry

(China Daily)

12:22, January 27, 2012

Newly enrolled first-graders at a Nanjing primary school start their first class at the city's Confucius Temple. Children are encouraged to learn more about traditional Chinese culture, which may help produce more poets in the future. (Duo Duo / For China Daily)

It may mark a turning point for China's traditional publishing houses that they have no plans to publish the works of last year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, despite having printed the collections of previous laureates. Some might argue that it is an indication the world is becoming more crude, more cynical and less appreciative of issues, such as nature, that the 80-year-old focuses on.

It certainly seems in some quarters that poetry has no hold on many people today. A survey in November showed poets are among the bottom three in a list of relationship partners in a country with about 3,000 years of history of writing poems.

"(Modern) poetry in China is dead," said Wolfgang Kubin, the German Sinologist, in a public lecture on Chinese modern poetry on Nov 24. He then contradicted himself in a carefully phrased way: "It is, however, still living. It lives at the edge of society unnoticed by the majority. Its readers are the few people who really appreciate good literature."

The young, it seems, are not among the latter faction. As older poets produce and are published less, and some have stopped altogether, some observers say no one is stepping into their shoes.

"I have yet to pay much attention to poets under 30, if that is the younger generation," Kubin said. Usually Chinese writers and scholars introduce works of literature to him and recommend they be translated. "It seems to me that I have not yet heard a voice that tried to convince me of the high quality of poets under 30," was his withering assessment.

The decline in China's poetry is marked elsewhere. "Poetry reading groups have got smaller as good poetry diminishes and the competition falls," said Xie Mian, deputy director of the New-style Poetry Research Institute of Peking University. "That is something new."

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:姚春)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Job fair in NE China

  2. Celebration held for Chinese Lunar New Year in Russia

  3. Chinese Spring Festival celebration held in London

  4. Neutralizers used to dissolve contamination

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. China's success here to stay
  2. Pakistan, Afghanistan set to break deadlock
  3. Bias against China human rights "deeply rooted"
  4. Are gold prices nearing end of its upward trend?
  5. Six-party talks should not be shelved
  6. Downplaying Iran nuclear issue not a good sign
  7. US actions make China-Russia alliance appealing
  8. No one can say 'no' to peace
  9. Cautious end to a record year for foreign investors
  10. US sends subtle signal to Iran

What's happening in China

Shining a light on the value of energy

  1. Beijing to impose vehicle emissions standard
  2. Call to adjust interest rates
  3. 'River pigs' rarer than pandas
  4. Property tax cools high-end housing market
  5. China to eliminate endemic diseases in key areas

PD Online Data

  1. Yangge in Shaanxi
  2. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  3. The drum dance in Ansai
  4. Shehuo in Baoji City
  5. The dragon dance