Gender and Literature/Art

Exploring the Tang Dynasty Poetess Li Ye: Her Life and Poetry

Chen Wenhua
Department of Chinese, East China Normal University
Journal of Nanjing University(Philosophy, Humanities and Social Sciences) 2002-5

Abstract:Li Ye is known as "the Queen poetess" and her poetry is acclaimed as "the poetry proper of the Da Li (766 - 779 A.D.) Era". Despite her status as a Taoist priestess, she behaved as a coquette: her relationships with Liu Changqing, Jiao Ran, Lu Yu, Zhu Fang and Yan Shihe were infamous with debauchery. So for years, critics have dismissed her as a debauchee. This seemingly wild and frivolous woman poet, though, had loneliness deeply rooted in her heart. Her refined and, tactful representation of her deep passion and acute lovesickness indicate clearly that she yearned for friendship and love throughout her life. However, when love grew intensified, it might go wild. But wild as she was, she was unable to fend off misery. As a result, she had to fight against the status quo, a fight that left her with no chance to escape from tragedy.
Keywords:La Ye, Taoist priestess, debauchery, poetry proper of the Da Li Era

Paper type:Published