Shandong Culture

Culture Insider: Six talented ancient Chinese women

By Li Hongrui ( Updated: 2017-03-08

Editor's note:

March 8 marks the annual International Women's Day. Around the world, women usually played an obscure role in history. They were often buried with their unknown talents and amazing tales. Yet there are still some lucky ones whose stories have been recorded.

Here are six talented ancient Chinese women who once impressed in their time, and still affect us in our time.

Culture Insider: Six talented ancient Chinese women

A painting of Li Qingzhao, by Chen Zhenming. [Photo/]

Li Qingzhao

Praised as the "No.1 talented woman", Li Qingzhao, a poet from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), was born in Shandong province.

She excelled at poetry and in ink painting and calligraphy. She and her husband, Zhao Mingcheng, shared an interest in collecting bronze ware and headstones carved with prose and poems. Li was most well-known for her poems, which were divided into two contrasting styles reflecting her life as a married woman and a widow. Before Zhao's death, her poems were mainly about a carefree and happy life. The keynote turned into a tragic tune after Zhao passed away.

However, Li was not a narrow-minded woman. Apart from expressing feminine feelings and experiences, she also wrote poems praising war heroes and criticizing the decayed and weak emperor and royals.

One of her most famous poems is "Born as an outstanding soul, even die as a hero among spirits".

As an example of female patriot, Li has a great effect on modern women's literature.

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