Feng Zhi was born Feng Chengzhi in 1905 in Hebei province. He graduated from Beijing University, where he had studied German from 1921–27 and later (1930–35), studied German philosophy and literature in Berlin and Heidelberg. He published two poetry collections, Songs of Yesterday (1927) and Northern Wanderings and Other Poems (1929), and then didn’t publish for over a decade. He began writing again after fleeing Beijing for the south of China. It was after being driven out of Kunming by the Japanese bombardment that he began to write his famous series of twenty-seven sonnets (published in 1942 as Sonnets), which show the influence of Rainer Maria Rilke. He died in 1993.