Q - Qiu Jin

Posted by Claudia Moser on 7:00 AM in ,
This was a hard letter, I could hardly find some famous female author whose name starts with Q, until I thought of China, and here I was reading about Qiu Jin.
A Chinese poet and a revolutionary, Qiu Jin was born in 1875 into a moderately wealthy family.
In 1906 she started publishing a women's magazine in which she encouraged women to gain financial independence through education and training in various prefessions.
While Qiu Jin (秋瑾) is mainly remembered in the West as revolutionary and feminist, one aspect of her life that gets overlooked is her poetry and essays. Having received an exceptional education in classical literature, reflected in her writing of more traditional poetry (shi and ci) Qiu composed verse with a wide range of metaphors and allusions; mixing classical mythology along with revolutionary rhetoric.
An example of her wonderful words:
Don't tell me women
are not the stuff of heroes,
I alone rode over the East Sea's
winds for ten thousand leagues.
My poetic thoughts ever expand,
like a sail between ocean and heaven.
I dreamed of your three islands,
all gems, all dazzling with moonlight.
I grieve to think of the bronze camels,
guardians of China, lost in thorns.
Ashamed, I have done nothing;
not one victory to my name.
I simply make my war horse sweat.
Grieving over my native land
hurts my heart. So tell me;
how can I spend these days here?
A guest enjoying your spring winds?
More information here
Picture from here



This was a wonderful post Claudia! I'm so going to enjoy learning more about Qiu Jin.

I read the basics of her life story, it's a shame her's was ended by the Qing dynasty

Good choice, Claudia, insightful post.


@Jacqueline - glad you found this interesting
@Adam - history is sometimes brutal
@Jenny - thank you my dear

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