Collection: Excerpts from Taiping!

Through 2000-2001, I became obsessed with the Taiping Rebellion. Like many who have been fascinated by it, I found the collision of East and West in this historical moment fascinating, and began to work on a series of poems telling the story from a number of points of view, both from within the Taiping Army and without — including the point of view of an opium-addicted Scotsman who ends up in China, caught in the middle of the war.

I worked on these poems until around 2004, at which point I became convinced that a book telling the story of Taiping! would likely be too long to see publication, but also that it would be difficult for me to finish composing such a poem whilst living abroad and speaking very simplified English all day long.

That said, I do not consider the project completely abandoned, and would like to get back to it someday. It was over halfway finished when I stopped working on it, and would likely take a serious outlay of time to finish… but maybe someday that will be possible.

Like Father, Like Son


Canton, 1836

Glosa on Meng Chiao’s “Complaint of a Neglected Wife”