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The Prodigy

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Chapter Summary

Ho Ching-ming (1483-1521) was born in Hsin-yang. The family into which Ho Ching-ming was born had only recently begun to emerge from several generations of obscurity. The descendants of Ho T'ai-shan lived as small land-owners, or perhaps even peasants. The childhood of a Chinese poet is remarkably difficult to discover, and that of Ho Ching-ming is no exception. Signs of Ching-ming's precocity were no doubt a source of satisfaction to Ho Hsin and are fondly recorded. It is said that by the age of five he could make up rhyming couplets and was memorizing several hundred words a day. The 1502 chin-shih examination found Ho back in Peking. The Chief Examiner in this year was the calligrapher and poet Wu K'uan. This time Ho's name was on the list of those who had passed, at the still remarkably early age of nineteen.

Keywords: Chinese poet; Ho Ching-ming; Wu K'uan

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