autumn: a poem for Qiu Jin, Chinese poet, feminist, revolutionary, & martyr


she wrote

they are coming for you



save yourself.

but I was not going

to flee

to do that

would be to scatter

the leaves of the trees

whose seeds I have sown

this school

these girls

fierce and strong flowers

but not yet in


a field of two hundred million

that the western sun

has not touched.

a rising revolution

cannot be halted

by rain or wind

hail may puncture petals

but our roots are strong

even if autumn comes early

the spring must

go on.


I wrote to her

I will not leave

and if I should die,

let the

people know why

let my legacy

drown my present woes.


do not tell me women are not

the stuff of heroes.






By Yi Nuo Cheng



Qiu Jin (November 8, 1875- July 15, 1907; also known as the Woman Knight of Mirror Lake) was a Chinese poet, feminist, and revolutionary during the Qing dynasty.  At the age of 31, she was publicly beheaded by the government and thereafter made a martyr by fellow revolutionaries.  One of the first to make a stand for gender equality and women’s rights in China, 秋瑾 (←Qiu Jin’s name in Chinese) is immortalized as a figurehead of feminism for her tireless advocacy and work over the course of her life.


Image result for qiu jin


More Articles on Qiu Jin:


Qiu Jin, Chinese feminist & revolutionary martyr

Qiu Jin – The First Feminist Poet Of China

The Martyrdom of Qiu Jin

*note: featured image art of this blog post is by Professor Jiang Cai Ping*


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