Li Ch'ing-chao (lēˈ chĭngˌ-chouˈ) [key], 1084?–c.1151, Chinese poet. Li's 78 extant song lyrics [ tz'u ] have earned her a reputation as a master of lyrical poetry. She achieves a simple, natural voice while observing complex metrical demands. Her writing expresses melancholy concern over the passage of time and the transformation of present beauty into faint relic. Her "Discourse on Lyric" [ Tz'u-lun ] is among the earliest theoretical writings on the genre.
See translations by K. Rexroth and L. Chung (1979); biography by P. Hu (1966).