Li Qingzhao (1084-1155)
Li Qingzhao (1084-1155) was a well-known Ci poetess in the Song Dynasty of China and recognized as a representative personage of the euphemistic ci poem in Song Ci Poems. Besides, she made an outstanding contribution to historiography and sphragistics. The later generation called the collection of her Ci Poems as Shu Yu Lyrics, which took its name from the Shuyu Spring in the front of her former residence in Jinan. It was said that Li Qingzhao used to wash and rinse on the side of the spring in the early years. This spring is still running today, where visitors of all ages come to look with reverence in an endless stream.
Li Qingzhao had received well education when she was a child and showed her literary talent in the early years. With a woman’s unique emotions and feelings, her works exposed varied plight and sentiment of life no match in the works of other predecessors, which led the euphemistic ci poem to a new pinnacle. After Jingkang Calamities, she and her husband Zhao Mingcheng came to the south of Jiangsu from Shandong province, cross south towards Jinling. Such homeless and miserable life was also revealed in her later poems and Ci poems. She poured out calamities caused by wars to women and wrote down quite a good deal of bold and unconstrained patriotic poems and ci poems, which embodied Chinese women’s braveness and justice. After the death of her husband, she was relapsed into difficulties.
What’s more, a plenty of ancient books, carved stones, painting and calligraphy works, as well as bronze wares, which were as valuable as her life to her, were damaged or stolen in wars. In 1155, Li Qingzhao died alone. However, the Records on Metal and Stone left by her and her husband has developed a new path for the comprehensive and systematic work on metal and stone collection as well as archaeological research for the later generations.
Li Qingzhao former residence
Li Qingzhao claimed that Ci Poem should be elegant, and she also emphasized on the rhythm of Ci Poem and utilization of relatively informal languages in Ci Poem. With a special style, her Ci Poems were reputed as “Yi-an Style“. In her representative work of Slow, Slow Tune, “So dim, so dark, So dense, so dull, So damp, so dank, So dead! boldly used extremely unusual long bunches of reiterative locutions, and this Ci Poem is actually one of the outstanding works in the Ci Poem history of China. Her patriotic lines with lofty sentiments of “Be man of men while you are alive; be soul of souls even though you're dead!“ has been popular among the patriotic people of the later generations.
SOURCE : cultural-china.com
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