The Specialist by Ki Hyeong-do

translated from the Korean by geul

 

The man who moved in was a strange person
The walls around his house were all made of glass

Out of a moment’s error
The careless children playing in the alley
smashed the glass wall that
reflected the abundant sunshine

But children, it doesn’t matter
the glass can always be replaced
play in the alley, as much as you want

The face of the child who broke the glass had turned bright red
but the other children, who had a strange expression on their faces,
soon enjoyed themselves as children will
The child who insisted
How about building the wall out of sturdy pine board
was immediately exiled from that lovely alley

The glass wall was broken anew each day
After a certain requisite period, all the children of the neighborhood
became the man’s faithful subordinate

One day when the man removed the glass walls, it became clear
that the alley was the place that received the least amount of sunlight
the children, standing in a line,
carried bricks back and forth in silence

 

poem in Korean

 

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