游子吟 Youzi Yin: Song of the Wanderer

Friday April 27th, 2012 by 2 Comments

[audio:http://blog.youziproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/游子吟.mp3]Audio : Yindan reading 游子吟.

When I first met Yindan I mentioned that we were thinking of using the word youzi for our project. She introduced me to this well known poem which has a deep meaning for Chinese people living abroad. The poem was written in the Tang Dynasty by Meng Jiao, and speaks of the bond between a mother and her son who was leaving his home; the mother weaves her love with the thread she sews on the son’s clothes, hoping for his safe return one day.

游子吟

慈 母 手 中 线 , 游 子 身 上 衣 。
临 行 密 密 缝 , 意 恐 迟 迟 归 。
谁 言 寸 草 心 , 报 得 三 春 晖 。

cí mǔ shǒu zhōng xiàn , yóu zǐ shēn shàng yī。
lín xíng mì mì féng ,yì kǒng chí chí guī 。
shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn , bào dé sān chūn huī 。

‘Song of the Wanderer’

From the thread in the hand of a loving Mother,
To the coat on the back of the journeying son.
Swiftly stitching till the moment of departure,
Anxiously fearing a delayed return was she.
Who suggested that the heart of a blade of grass,
Could repay the warmth and brilliance of the Springs?

Yindan and I chatted today about missing family when you are far away from home, she mentioned that before her parents came to visit this Easter, she didn’t really miss them but now they have gone back she notices their absence. ‘It’s like I didn’t know I had a hole in my heart, and when they came here it was filled’.

2 Comments on “游子吟 Youzi Yin: Song of the Wanderer”

  1. 1 duckrabbit said at 3:21 pm on April 28th, 2012:

    ‘‘It’s like I didn’t know I had a hole in my heart, and when they came here it was filled’.’

    Beautiful sentiment that resonated deeply.

    Thank you for sharing and good luck with the project.

  2. 2 Gemma Thorpe said at 5:26 pm on April 28th, 2012:

    Thankyou for taking the time to listen & for your well wishes!