After Qiu Jin
Don’t tell me a woman
must be a damsel in distress,
when we alone win a war every minute,
From pink nails
flows fearless femme freedom,
poems pouring from the tips
of pithy pigtails.
Don’t try to tie our waists,
our dreams cannot be bound.
I dream. I grieve. Ashamed
for all the times I didn’t stand with my
Sisters. But we are ever together in blood.
Marching onward through fear
and through frost.
The only distress we afford is that which we
conceive. So tell me how you think of me?
A whisper of wind? Or a tempest?
Here is the Chinese version of Qiu Jin’s original poem “Capping Rhymes With Sir Shih Ching From Sun’s Root Land” from voiceseducation.org:
Sadly, my Chinese is not yet strong enough to translate my own attempt at mimicking Qiu Jin’s style and form. I might talk to my friend from Beijing about whether she would help me rewrite my poem “In the Age of Nasty Women” in Chinese.
Thanks for reading! ~JM