Ache-in-the-bone Regret by Hwang Ji-wu

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

I’m sad

Every place in which I’ve loved

is all a wreck

Completely breaking
Leaving everything completely broken, as if without that insignia
you couldn’t say you’ve sincerely loved
The people who’ve come to me,
each damaged in a few places,
have left

In my heart always the moving desert shrine in the haze;
there is sand driven in, to the inner chamber erected by the wind’s pillar,
the faggots rolling around roots and all,
and sand rasps in the ear of a dead beast
drying up in the sun

Not through any kind of love or lunacy
could we enter this monstrous place
together. My squirming desert,
in the end, the feverish idol
that could not abandon the self rose up crimson and groaned
and the spaces of my love are all in ruins

That I have never loved anyone;
passing through this world who knows when we’ll return to
my ache-in-the-bone regret is just that
not for anyone,
that I have never once loved anyone

In my youth, my self-imposed hardships
were never in sacrifice for anyone
sacrifices for me, no more than a competitiveness commanded by duty;
could that also be a power? For those who don’t even have that
how splendid sacrifice must be

Thus, I didn’t love anyone
my ruin that no one ever entered;
only the wind breathing the words of the sand
in the ear of the dead beast lingered and passed by
I now wait for no one
No one believes me or expects anything of me

 

About Hwang Ji-wu

poem in original Korean

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