Yu Xiuhua poem “Prayer”

Poet Yu Xiuhua 余秀华 published a powerful poem on Chinese social media on February 27, 2022 in response to the Russia-Ukraine war. It has incited great public discussion. I have translated the poem into English for MCLC readers. The Chinese original appears after the translation.

Ying Bao

Prayer
By Yu Xiuhua

I pray for a poem to stop a tank
A poem full of tears stops more
I pray for a flower to withstand a bullet
A handful of carnations can comfort a mother

I pray for the sun to shine on everyone
Let some of them come out of the bomb shelter
to touch the spring
bruised
yet still trying to bloom

I pray that those farewells do not bear the grief of parting forever
But the joy of touching freedom
I pray that those children, O those children
Can go out into the street

I pray for peace!
I pray that the enemies with bayonets in their hands
Tell each other the names of their mothers
The names of their wives, the names of their children

I pray that every person who starts an unjust war
Cherish their own honor
Cherish the life of every soldier
Cherish the life of every civilian

I pray that on our already plagued earth
The sun illuminates every corner
There is nothing more evil than war
There is no aggression worse than war

I pray for peace!

(Translated by Ying Bao, 3/4/22)

◆祷告辞

我乞求诗歌能够阻挡一辆坦克
蓄满眼泪的诗歌阻挡的多一些
我乞求鲜花能够对抗子弹
一把康乃馨能够安慰一位母亲

我乞求阳光照在每一个人身上
让一些人从防空洞走出来
去触摸已经伤痕累累但还在努力绽开的
春天

我乞求那些告别没有生离死别的哀伤
而是去触碰自由的喜悦
我乞求那些孩子,那些孩子啊
能够跑到街上

我乞求和平!
我乞求那些手拿刺刀的敌对者
告诉对方,他们各自母亲的名字
妻子的名字,孩子的名字

我乞求每一个发起不义战争者
珍惜自己的名誉
每一个战士的生命
珍惜每一个平民的生命

我乞求在已经多灾多难的地球上
阳光普照
没有比战争更邪恶的事情
没有比战争更低级的事情

我乞求和平!

2022年02月27日

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