Sunday, May 21, 2017


   --after Yu Guangzhong

In my childhood
homesickness was a cheap stamp.
I was here
and Mom just over there.

When I was grown
homesickness a boarding pass
and bride just beyond.

But then
homesickness became a tiny tomb.
I stayed outside
but Mom was deep within. 

And now
homesickness is a narrow strait
I on one side
continents on the other.

--tr. Duane Vorhees


  1. Yu Guangzhong (Yu Kwang-Chung) was born in Nanjing, China, but fled with his family during the Japanese invasion in World War II, returned home, and then fled again due to the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War. He was one of the first students to graduate with a degree in foreign languages from the National Taiwan University. He speaks French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. He has published 17 poetry collections and 12 prose collections. Since the 1970s his work has focused on themes of longing, especially by the Chinese in Taiwan.

  2. I like this a lot. Bei Dao is also very good: simple on the surface but with great depths. His book 'The August Sleepwalker' gives a good overview of his work.


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