Li Ching Chao

(1084 - 1151)

Li Ching Chao
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She was born into a literary family and became an antiquarian, book collector, and calligrapher. Of her six original volumes of lyrics, only about 50 lyrics remain.

In Stephen Owen's chapter, "The Snares of Memory," it concentrates on Li Ch'ing-Chao's Afterward to Records on Metal and Stone. He believes that Chao's account is filled with memories of her happy times in her married life and her tremendous bitterness toward her husband for the excessive value he placed on this material collection.

Chao opens the afterward with a comparison of two men, Ch'ang-yu and Yuan-k'ai, deluded by the importance of their possessions. She refers to their love of collecting... more »

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (8/11/2016 10:32:00 AM)

    Li Qingzhao (Chinese: 李清照; pinyin: Lǐ Qīngzhào; Wade-Giles romanization: Li Ch’ing-chao; her literary name was (hao) Yi’an Jushi, also called Li Yi’an - born 1084, Jinan, Shandong province, China — died after 1155, Jinhua, Zhejiang province) is considered the greatest poetess in Chinese history, whose work, though it survives only in fragments, continues to be as highly regarded as it was in her own day.

    Her father was a student of Su Shi. He had a large collection of books and Li was educated during her childhood. Before she got married, her poetry was already well known within elite circles. In 1101 she married Zhao Mingcheng, with whom she shared interests in art collection and epigraphy. They lived in present-day Shandong. When the Northern Song capital of Kaifeng fell in 1127 to the Jurchens during the Jin–Song wars, fighting took place in Shandong and their house was burned. Zhao died in 1129 en route to an official post. The death of her husband was a cruel stroke from which Li never recovered. It was then up to her to keep safe what was left of their collection. Li described her married life and the turmoil of her flight in an Afterword to her husband's posthumously published work, Jin shi lu. Her earlier poetry portrays her carefree days as a woman of high society, and is marked by its elegance.

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (8/11/2016 10:31:00 AM)

    Li Qingzhao produced seven volumes of essays and six volumes of poetry, but most of her work is lost except for some poetry fragments. She wrote primarily ci poetry, a song form. Her mastery of the metrical rules of the form was such that she produced one of the earliest known scholarly studies of ci. Her poetry is noted for its striking diction as well as for her focus on relating her personal experiences, giving her work more emotional intensity than that of her peers. Her poetic oeuvre reflects the dramas of her lifetime, with the earlier works marked by a carefree vitality and the pieces that she wrote after her husband’s death and her exile reflecting a sombre, grief-stricken tone.

  • Dimitris(Jimmy) Psachos (6/17/2007 7:40:00 AM)

    Glad to have entered the wonderful world of the lovely Li Ching Chao! A GREAT POET, from the days where the eastern spring brought to us, ignorant westerns, ARTISTS such are Saigyo, Shikibu and Li Po!

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Best Poem of Li Ching Chao

A Morning Dream

This morning I dreamed I followed
Widely spaced bells, ringing in the wind,
And climbed through mists to rosy clouds.
I realized my destined affinity
With An Ch'i-sheng the ancient sage.
I met unexpectedly O Lu-hua
The heavenly maiden.

Together we saw lotus roots as big as boats.
Together we ate jujubes as huge as melons.
We were the guests of those on swaying lotus seats.
They spoke in splendid language,
Full of subtle meanings.
The argued with sharp words over paradoxes.
We drank tea brewed on living fire.

Although this might not help the ...

Read the full of A Morning Dream

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