Li Qingzhao

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Li Qingzhao

Li Qingzhao (李清照; 1084 – c. 1156) was a Chinese writer and poet in the Song dynasty. She is considered one of the greatest woman poets in Chinese history.


  • 簾捲西風,人比黃花瘦。
    • The West Wind blows the curtains
      And I am frailer than the yellow chrysanthemums.
      • 《醉花陰》 ("Ninth Day, Ninth Month"), as translated by Kenneth Rexroth and ‎Ling Chung in Li Ch'ing-chao: Complete Poems (New Directions, 1979), p. 14
  • 见有人来,袜铲金钗溜,和羞走。倚门回首,却把青梅嗅。
    • Seeing a guest come, she feels shy;
      Her stockings coming down, away she tries to fly.
      Her hairpin drops;
      She never stops
      But to look back.
      She leans against the door,
      Pretending to sniff at mume blossoms once more.
      • 《点绛唇》 ("Rouged Lips"), as translated by Xu Yuan Zhong in Song of the Immortals (New World Press, 1994), p. 227
  • Who sits alone by the bright window?
    My shadow and I, only we two.
    But the lamp burns out, there is darkness.
    Even my shadow forsakes me.
    Alas, alas!
    I am forlorn!
    • "To the Tune of ‘Like a Dream’", in The White Pony: An Anthology Of Chinese Poetry (G. Allen & Unwin, 1949), ed. Robert Payne, p. 300

Quotes about Li[edit]

  • Li Yi-an was the greatest poetess of China. Once her husband asked one of his friends to pick out the best lines that he liked from a number of his poems, having, however, concealed in them some pieces by his wife. The friend picked out, to his dismay, only lines from her pen.
    • Lin Yutang, The Importance of Understanding (Cleveland and New York: World Book Publishing, 1960), p. 143

External links[edit]

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