Tag Archives: Jeong Ji-yong

Nostalgia by Jeong Ji-yong

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

At the eastern end of a wide plain
a creek chattering an old tale meanders out
a pied ox
bellows lazily in the gold waning light

Can I forget that place even in dreams?

When the ashes cool in the grate
the wind cries over vacant fields like horses racing
my aging father in a doze
props his head upon a straw pillow

Can I forget that place even in dreams?

My heart raised on the soil
yearning for the blue of the sky
I look for arrows shot recklessly
drenching myself in the dewy grass

Can I forget that place even in dreams?

Like night waters dancing upon the mythical sea
my elder sister’s flying black hair
my plain insouciant wife
barefoot through the seasons
harvesting rice with the blistering sun on their backs

Can I forget that place even in dreams?

The stars aswirl in the sky, transferring
my foot to unknowable sand castles
crows cawing circling past
a shabby roof
sitting around a hazy fire murmuring softly

Can I forget that place even in dreams?

 

poem in original Korean


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