Tag Archives: Hometown

Home by Jeong Ji-yong

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

Home, home I’ve come back to, but
it’s not the home I’ve missed.

The mountain pheasant is brooding;
the cuckoo cries in its season, but

my heart is forgetful of home,
a cloud wandering toward distant harbors.

Today too up the mountain alone
white spotted flowers smile kindly;

the grass flutes I blew in my youth don’t sound
and are oh so bitter to my parched lips.

Home, home I’ve come back to, but
only the sky I’ve missed is high and blue.

 

original Korean poem

About Jeong Ji-yong

 

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Hometown by Baek Seok (고향, 백석)

(translated from the Korean by geul)

I saw a doctor one morning
After lying alone sick in Bukkwan.
The doctor wears a face like Buddha’s and Guan Gong*’s beard
Like a hermit from some country of long ago
Putting out a hand with a long-nailed pinky finger
Feeling my pulse a long time in silence
Suddenly he asks where my hometown is
When I say Pyungando Jeongju
So it’s the hometown of Mr. So-and-so he says.
When I say then do you know Mr. So-and-so?
The doctor smiles a little
We’re bosom buddies he says and strokes his beard.
When I say he’s like a father to me
The doctor once again smiles to himself and
As he wordlessly takes my arm to feel my pulse
His touch is so warm and soft
My hometown, my father and my father’s friend were all there.

**deity name for Guan Yu

poem in original Korean