Category Archives: Hwang In-suk

I shall be born a cat by Hwang In-suk

(translated from the Korean by geul)


Next time I shall be born as a cat.
I shall be born
as a black patterned cat that glistens, gleams like oil.
I shall be born as a small cat
that knows how to roll like a ball and
looks like a big crow when running nimbly.
I shan’t be dozing on the veranda.
I shan’t be licking milk from a porcelain bowl.
I shall slither through a thornbush and
go out onto the wide open plain.
There I shall run and play with the field mice.
When I’m hungry I shall stealthily
pounce on a flock of sparrows.
Startled, they’ll probably fly off flap flap.
I shall scamper scamper chase them.
I shan’t catch the kid sparrow.
I shall only scare the panting kid
with a light tap of my front paw.
And then I’ll dart off and
catch the biggest one.
Soon after, the sun will go down,
the wind will probably get dreary.
The field mice and the sparrows will leave
and I shall be left alone on the plain.
I shan’t return.
I shall lick the darkness and look for a hay rick.
It should be cozy and warm smelling of straw.
I shall leap up easily and snuggle in deep.
My bedchamber should shine silver
in the moonlight.
Cold rain together with a strong wind
might range over the empty field, perchance.
Even so I won’t get a whisker wet.
I shall dream.
A dream of chasing the sparrow that got away
dashing across the bright field.



original poem in Korean