TO OUR MOTHERLAND
Time, could erode the inscription on the monument
But it won’t erase the love from the bottom of our hearts
Storm, could wipe flat the wrinkles of the land
But it won’t dissolve the feeling in our blood
Geese migrate with subsided wind and faded feathers
Mysterious silhouette disappears in dust-faded footprints
Journey of drifting
Rhythms of poems follow our tails to the edge of land
Ancient tunes breathe with our ever-changing lives
Lean against the bright moonlight through the window
Overlook the remote shore with flickering lights
From now on
Let’s fold the lines of poems into pigeons
Fly them into sky with songs of our hearts
Carry our deepest regard to motherland
Some thirty years ago, the most active overseas Chinese poets were mostly from Taiwan. Famous poets such as Zheng Chouyu, Yu Kuang-chung, and William Marr are just a few among them. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new group of Mainland Chinese poets, such as Gu Cheng, Bei Dao, landed overseas and brought new energies to the field of contemporary Chinese poetry. What about now? Which group of writers have been writing and passing the Chinese poetry heritages in places far from greater China? Thanks to the growing popularity of Internet technologies, online forums are now new venues for overseas Chinese to publish their works, and thus gave birth to a new generation of overseas poets.
This new group of writers mostly came from Mainland China after China’s economic reforms. As the first generation of immigrants, they thrived through schools, work, recognitions, in totally foreign environments. The experiences widen their eyes and enrich their emotions, giving them unique understanding of life itself. Inspired by those thoughts, emotions, and experiences, they have written various subjects ranging from foreign landscapes and climates, life struggles, home longing, interesting stories, values and beliefs, dreams and hopes. Their heart-felt passions, energies, stories, and above all the poetic touches, are all expressed in their native language, and in true love of their motherland.
They might modestly not name themselves poets， instead call themselves “poetry lovers”. They come from all walks of life: professors and scholars, technical engineers, merchants, doctors, accountants, students….. Most of them have earned degrees in higher education and become professionals. They live their life just like the rest of the foreign born individuals and thrive between work and family. Despite living in a foreign soil, they want to carry their love and burden of passing on their Chinese cultural heritages. In this era of commercial superiorities, although poetry of any styles is facing difficulties from a financial standpoint, they take poetries into their daily lives, and enrich their souls with poetic appreciations. They may not be trained poets, but they have gifted talent of instinct and creativity in poem, and have spiritual advantages of being away from a mercenary world. They express themselves freely, find poetic inspirations from nature, from work, from home, or just from every corner of life, and transform the daily scenes to a poetic world--- one of beauty, of virtue, of imaginations. No matter what they call them self, their excellent poem works have clearly illustrated that they are true poets. If we have to name this special group of oversea poets, we would like to name them “Seal”, which is a phonogram of “Hai Shi” (poems of overseas) in Chinese.
In 2010, The Writers Publishing House, which is one of the China’s top Publishing House, published a collective work written by 30 of such overseas poets. The book earned great reviews from its readers. In 2012, more than 30 poets are selected to a new book called “300 Elite Poets in Contemporary China”. In this webpage, reader can find some of those poems online, among with other excellent submissions from over 100 reputable Chinese overseas poets.
The styles of these poems vary: some are aesthetic; some are simple; some are passionate; some are thoughtful. The subjects of these poems vary: nature landscapes, romance, life struggles, political critics, wisdoms, dreams and hopes, etc. The pages are only a few drops of the sea of their hard works, but readers could trace the footsteps of how overseas poetry develops. This online venue also serves as a guild and a window to understand the overseas Chinese writers at the current time: their love of poetry, and their willingness to endorse and to enrich the wide collections of Chinese literature.
The echoes from overseas poems are true proofs that deep-rooted cultural heritages will survive despite of the obstructions of distance or time. Like dandelions growing in every field, the seeds of poetry spread to every corner of the world. They grow and bloom in the foreign soils, then fly back to its motherland with newly mature identity. Chinese students carry the seeds of poetry to all over the world. They may go back home or they may stay overseas, but the sounds of their hearts are recorded in their poems ----- along with their footsteps, far but never away.
Chinese Oversea Poetry Forums
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