World of Paradox

Mother’s Distress Day (II)
World of Paradox

O world of happiness!
First time we met,
you welcomed me with a smile;
I responded with wailing.
Heaven disturbed. Earth rocked.

O world of sorrow!
Our final parting,
I sent you off with  wailing;
you responded without words.
Heaven. Earth. Closed.

O world of paradox!
Regardless of first encounter or parting forever,
I always wailed at you.
Wailing for the world begins with a smile of yours,
but bliss ends with your eyes closed.

Yu Guangzhong

There was a poetry reading and piano performance to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend. Inspired and deeply moved by the poet Professor Yu’s three poems on Mother’s Distress Day, the pianist Christiana Chiu-shih Lin composed and performed a beautiful piano piece.

Poetry reading and piano performance

Professor Yu is my favorite Taiwanese poet. Though he taught English and American literature, his poems are all in Chinese. Just want to share the touching poem with this translation (that may not fully convey the poet’s original Chinese words).

For Mother’s Distress Day I:This Life Time.
People celebrate births but mourn deaths. See Chuang Tzu’s quotes on life and death.