The writing challenge last week was about metaphors and similes. The metaphors for homesickness sprang to my mind. Homesickness – 乡愁 (pronunciation: xiāng chóu) – is a famous poem in the modern Chinese history, written in 1972 by the eminent poet YU Guangzhong 余光中.
This short poem employed 4 metaphors: stamp, ship-ticket, grave, strait.
This poem has been widely interpreted as the poet’s longing for Taiwan-China reunion since their separation in 1949. However, putting the poet’s political view aside, let’s treasure this poem and its metaphors.
Here is my translation of the poem:
Homesickness – 乡愁， by 余光中：Yu Guangzhong
When I was little, homesickness was a tiny stamp.
I was right here, while my mum was over there.
When I grew up, homesickness was a light ship-ticket.
I was right here, while my bride was over there.
Eventually, homesickness was a modest grave.
I was on the outside, but mum was inside.
But now, homesickness became a shallow strait.
I’m right here, but the Mainland is over there.