Interlude: Other People's Poetry

Her people loved her--not all her people, for the revolutionary, the impatient, hated her heartily and she hated them. But the peasants and the small-town people revered her. Decades after she was dead I came upon villages in the inlands of China where the people thought she still lived and were frightened when they heard she was dead. "Who will care for us now?" they cried.

This, perhaps, is the final judgment of a ruler.

Pearl S. Buck on Empress Dowager Cixi

photograph by Tanya

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