In considering the poetics of the Ming-Qing transition, one may well begin with several fundamental questions: What did the poetic vocation mean to the survivors of the foreign invasion? When a city as rich in history and culture as Yangzhou had been utterly flattened by war in a matter of days, when human lives were as fragile as the morning dew, to use a Chinese metaphor, what did it mean to be a poet? Did the dynamics of tragedy generate a new, distinctive poetics? If so, how did this new mode of lyrical expression differ from the late-Ming verse and its obsession with individuality and strangeness, or from the Qing poetry prevailing towards the close of the seventeenth century and its paradigm of “elegance” and “correctness” (yazheng 雅正)? In this chapter, I address these issues by discussing Qian Qianyi’s vision for the poetics of Ming loyalism formulated after the fall of the Ming house.