Li Ching Chao

Li Ching Chao (1048 - 1151) was an excellent writer in China thanks to her literary work. There is a master collection of lyrics called tz'u that were the most representative works in her career and served as a model for many Chinese poets. Currently, Li Ching Chao is considered as one of the most respected literary figures in the Chinese culture. She was born into a literary family that had a total devotion to art. That is why, some years later, after finishing her literary career, Li Ching Chao became a book collector, painter, calligrapher, antiquarian and an excellent prose stylist.

Many critics in the world admire her poetry nowadays because she employed a big variety of interesting elements in its elaboration such as metaphors, similes, strong feelings like love, happiness, despair and desolation. She created poetry with colloquial and simple language without being vulgar or rude. In addition, her literary work also shows a big interest in nature and human relationships. She was an emotional woman because her life had some tragic and happy moments. Some of the important moments in her life are reflected in her work.

The province of Shandong was the home for several years of Li Ching Chao. She was born in Ji'nan exactly around 1081 approximately. Her mother was an efficient literary stylist and her father was a prose writer; that is why she received an outstanding education pretty different in comparison to other girls in the area. According to her publications, when she was a child she had an enjoyable life full of literary sessions, parties and other pleasant moments. Her talent was quickly evident. At the age of seventeen she got married with an Imperial Academy student called Chao Min-cheng. During her life as a wife she was by so far the most blissful women in the world.

In 1127 China was invaded by the Tartars and the Sung Dynasty finished its period in the country. Once the tartars entered in China, the happy couple escaped to the south. Few years later, her husband died and her family became poor due the tartars' invasion. Her final days are unclear. However, a lot people know that she went to live near the Yangtze River. Even though she continued writing, her literary work in her last days were not as brilliant as they were during her youth days.

Here are two popular poems of Li Ching Chao:

Li Ching Chao Poems









Slow, Slow Tune

I look for what I miss,
Slow, Slow TuneI know not what it is
I feel so sad, so drear,
So lonely ,without cheer.
How hard is it
to keep me fit
in this lingering cold!
Hardly warmed up
by cup on cup
of wine so dry.
Oh! How could I
endure at dusk the drift
of wind so swift?
It breaks my heart, alas!
To see the wild geese pass,
For they are my acquaintances of old.
The ground is covered with yellow flowers
Faded and fallen in showers.
Who will pick them up now?
Sitting alone at the window
how could I but quicken
the pace of darkness which won't thicken?
On parasol-trees a fine rain drizzles
as twilight grizzles.
Oh! What can I do with a grief
beyond belief!



轻解罗裳, 独上兰舟。


雁字回时, 月满西楼。


一种相思, 两处闲愁。


才下眉头, 却上心头。

Twig of Mume Blossoms

The jade-like mat feels autumn's cold, I change a coat
And'mid the fading fragrance
of lotus pink alone I boat.
Will wild returning geese bring letters through the cloud?
When they come, with moonbeams
my west chamber's overflowed.
As water flows and flowers fall without leaving traces,
One and the same longing
Overflows two lonely places.
I cannot get rid of this sorrow: kept apart
From my eyebrows,
it gnaws my heart.

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