Both historically and theoretically, this essay traces the development of modern Chinese poetry, including the Chinese symbolists of the 1920s, the modernists of the 1930s, the Nine Leaves of the 1940s, the obscurists of the 1970s, and the post-obscurists of the Third Generation of the 1980s, to the Western source from which the Chinese New Poets learned the techniques of modern Western poetry and introduced them into China by way of adaptation and imitation. At that point a new leaf was turned in the history of Chinese poetry: the mingling of the foreign elements, especially the obscurant that was constant in Western poetry, with vernacular Chinese expression gave birth to the New Poetry.

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