Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020: Standing Still Against the Pandemic

Having nothing better to do, I kill

Time by looking at a traditional

Chinese painting on my new iPad


Much enlarged, it appears like

A plain sheet of rice paper

Smeared with ink. I view it


In the presence of bonsai; I

Drop several thick strokes to the floor

Of history, leaving a few fine lines


Behind the sofa, & failing

To catch a colorless corner

Between black and white


It is a landscape newly relocated

Into my heart’s backyard. Then I sit

On my legs, meditating about


No light in the picture, no

Shadow of anything, no perspective

As in hell. Isn’t this the art of seeing?

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Yuan Changming

Yuan Changming became an ESL student in Shanghai at age nineteen, and published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, eight poetry awards and publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline, among 1729 others across 46 countries.


A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2020 playlist