Li Qingzhao


c.1083-aft.1149, Song dynasty


Song to the tune of “Pusaman”


Li Qingzhao’s father was a respected scholar and official in Song dynasty China and her own poetry was admired during her lifetime. Her husband was often traveling on official business, perhaps accounting for the recurrent theme of aloneness in her poetry, although the loneliness of women was a common subject for this form of poetry written to the tunes of popular songs. In 1126, the Song capital fell to northern invaders and the court retreated southward to establish a new capital in Hangzhou. Li’s husband died at this time and she was left on her own to relocate her household.

Translations and artwork: Lena Tan, 2006

These images are available as 6″ x 4″ prints or mounted on greeting cards.

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