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

sister,

she wrote

they are coming for you

run

hide

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

bloom

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.

no,

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.

sister,

do not tell me women are not

the stuff of heroes.

 

 

 

 

-autumn

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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