Poet and writer Yu Guangzhong 余光中 died at the age of 90 on Thursday in Taiwan. He was admitted to a hospital earlier after suffering from a stroke and a lung infection.
Yu was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, in 1928, but fled with his family to Taiwan in 1950. Yu wrote many well-loved works of poetry and prose, and was known for his humor and humanism. He was fondly remembered both in Taiwan and on the mainland, particularly for his poem “Nostalgia,” reproduced below, translated by Baidu (or in Chinese here). Here’s a video of Yu Guangzhong reading the poem.
When I was young,
my homesickness was a small stamp,
I was here,
my mother was there.
After growing up,
my homesickness was a narrow ticket,
I was here,
my bride was there.
my homesickness was a little tomb,
I was outside,
my mother was inside.
my homesickness is a shallow strait,
I am here,
the mainland is there.
On Weibo, many internet users talked about the poem. “May Mr. Yu rest in peace. Wish the tragedy of family separation in history will never happen again,” one commenter wrote. “I first learned this poem when I was little. Now, I still feel touched by it,” another commenter said.
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