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Development of New Poetry


New Poetry refers to Chinese contemporary poems that first appeared around the May 4thMovement. Being different from classic poetry, New Poetry adopted colloquialism. During the development of Chinese literature, classic poetries, including poem,Fu,Ciand Qu, etc., had attained very significant accomplishments, but the creation of classic poems gradually became rigid in modern times. Clich├ęs and affected poses abounded and vocabulary used for the classic poems was very different from everyday life language. Its strict rules and limitations for wording constituted a great bondage to express the increasingly complex social life and people's real feelings. Therefore, the revolution of New Poetry was the first and most important step for the May 4thMovement of New Literature. At the beginning, the revolution focused on the abolishment of traditional poetry's form, the use of colloquialism in poems and the expressions of the true feelings of the poets. Hence, the New Poetry was also called colloquial poetry at that time. In February 1917, eight new poems by Hu Shi were published in the magazineNew Youth,which gave birth to the first batch of new poems. The first poetry anthology wasChangshi Jiby Hu Shi in 1920, but the first work that displayed a brand-new expression form of art and thoughts wasGoddessby Guo Moruo in 1921. It also contributed significantly to the establishment of the position of New Poetry.

Foreign poems, which had positive effects on the establishment of the art form, greatly influenced the development of the New Poetry. On the basis of Chinese classic poems, folksongs and foreign poems, many poets actively explored new ways of expression and art forms, which led to the emergence of realism, romanticism and symbolism, etc. in genres and freestyle, new rhyme, sonnet and prose poem, etc. in forms. The exploration of many poets and the masterpieces by some outstanding poets gradually led to the maturation and diversity of New Poetry. From the May 4thMovement, the New Poetry has always been the main form of Chinese contemporary poetry.

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