I was a child,
Nostalgia seemed a small stamp:
I was here…
My mother was there.
When I grew up
Nostalgia became a ticket:
I was here…
My bride was there.
Nostalgia was a little tomb:
I was outside…
My mother was inside.
My nostalgia is a shallow strait:
I am at here…
The mainland is there.
~ Yu Guang Zhong
“The Chinese expression for “nostalgia” is xiangchou, literally “village sadness.” …xiangchou describes the grief that accompanies the traveler who cannot find a way back to the home village…[it] is not a geographical predicament but a spiritual state of being. First he finds himself outside the mother as a tiny emblem of apartness, then he is the man who contemplates her tomb. The shallow waters of the Taiwan straits are, similarly, not only a spatial divide between the island and the mainland but a reminder of the longing for, and the impossibility of going back to, ancestral roots.” *
*cited: V Schwarcz (Bridge Across Broken Time)
5 replies to “Xiangchou (Nostalgia)”
What a profound and beautiful poem! Your image pairs with it beautifully, Brenda.
Powerful words written miles away that give words to what often is kept hidden. Thank you…I appreciate your comment.
You’re very welcome. It moved me with its wisdom.
Thank you for this.
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