Xu Zhimo (1897–1931) was the best-known poet of the early period of the New Poetry in China, not only for his beautiful, melodious poetry but also his tempestuous love affairs and tragic death. He championed English Romanticism and the cultivation of the Romantic self. His introducing poems by Thomas Hardy, Keats, and Shelley and their various metrical forms, experimenting with verse forms and fusing them with his expert control of the vernacular language, combining elements of English and classical Chinese, broadening the subject matter and treatment of themes, are lasting contributions to modern Chinese poetry. The fifty poems selected here are characteristic of Xu’s style, displaying his efforts at innovation. This anthology of English translations of Xu’s poems, the first of its kind, published on the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of his birth, is a tribute to the poet and celebrates his important and pioneering position in the development of modern Chinese poetry.
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