A Drifter’s Spring by Kim So-wol


Tossing about, over mountain,

Across winding streams,

Walking the road

By green grass, red flowers

what pains.


Maple trees with their yellow leaves,

Early green willows,

The sun’s already set

The wind that brushes over.


Mist rising from valleys

Sinking between mountains,

The fading shadow of the

Drifter going round the peaks.


A lonely tavern on a mountain road,

Ah how lonesome.

The weary word

Of the peddler already there.


Since the sun is setting

shadows summoned,

Today how far?

After dark,

I’ll stop and rest,



In the grassy meadow steam rises,

Birdsong in the moonlight,

In the dead of silky night

I think on my beloved, as ever.


(translated from the Korean by geul)


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