The American poet Ai died March 20 at the age of 62. According The New York Times, Ai died of pneumonia, a complication of previously undiagnosed cancer.
The obituary acts as a feature of Ai's work--the New York Times said Ai's poems, which are nearly all dramatic monologues, have been widely recognized. The Times said Ai's poems varied in their characters, from male to female to likeable to unlikeable.
This poem is local to me because I've studied Ai's poetry in some of my creative writing classes. This obituary works because it focuses on the details of Ai's achievements while also giving readers background information.
For example, the Times said Ai received a National Book Award in 1999 for "Vice: New and Selected Poems" and offered a sample of her poetry. The article also explained that the poet, originally named Florence Anthony, changed her name when she was young to "Ai," which means "love" in Japanese.
It makes sense for the Times to have written the obituary mostly about Ai's work and not about her family life--the article said Ai found out she was the product of a scandalous affair her mother had and that when she died she had only one immediate survivor, a half-sister.
The one thing the article is missing is information about funeral services, but perhaps this is because she is a noteworthy figure, so service information was not included in the obituary for that reason.