Li Ch'ing-chao

Li Ch'ing-chao lēˈ chĭngˌ-chouˈ [key], 1084?–c.1151, Chinese poet. Li's 78 extant song lyrics [tz'u] have earned her a reputation as a master of lyrical poetry. She achieves a simple, natural voice while observing complex metrical demands. Her writing expresses melancholy concern over the passage of time and the transformation of present beauty into faint relic. Her “Discourse on Lyric” [Tz'u-lun] is among the earliest theoretical writings on the genre.

See translations by K. Rexroth and L. Chung (1979); biography by P. Hu (1966).

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