Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Distance of Love

for my mother

on the phone
I murmur to mother,
I love you ...
an ocean away
the silence at her end

Coming back home after my first day in grade one, I asked, Mom, do you love me?

I love you this much, she said with a laugh, holding her hands half a meter apart.

Now, forty years later, living in another country, I still can't fathom the depth of that L word inscribed in my mother's heart.

Haibun Today, 12:3, September 2018

Chen-ou Liu’s "The Distance of Love," A Commentary by Pravat Kumar Padhy (Haibun Today, 12:4, December 2018): Liu's Tanka Prose is a serene symbol of eternal love of a mother. The spectrum of the tanka is based on love, grief and solitude (ushintei). The poet symbolizes the emotional credence and divine love for his mother by placing the tanka in the beginning. This, in essence, manifests a long bridge of emotional feeling in the reader’s mind for the follow-up prose. The reader is urged to travel the distance into the prose to fathom the emotional exploration...  see the full text here

Chen-ou Liu’s "The Distance of Love," A Commentary by Gerry Jacobson (Haibun Today, 12:4, December 2018): Liu’s piece pierces me: brings up the guilt. I walked out of my London home at 18, caught a train to Tilbury dock, emigrated to Australia, never saw my mother again... I’m grateful to Chen-ou for opening up these feelings. And I’ve said nothing about his piece. Perhaps I don’t need to. It’s perfect.

the spirit travels
at the speed of a horse
so they say -
mine has been galloping
far too fast

See the full text here