Tag Archives: Korean poetry

Another Hometown by Yun Dong-ju

translated from the Korean by geul

 

 

The night I returned to my hometown
my skeleton followed me and lay down in the room with me.

*

The dark room opens up out into the universe,
could it be from the skies – the wind blows in like sound.

*

Looking closely
at the finely weathering skeleton
with tears welling up – is it me weeping?
Or is it the skeleton weeping?
Or is it the beautiful soul that’s weeping?

*

The faithful dog
stays up all night and barks at the darkness.

*

The dog barking at the darkness
is no doubt pursuing me.

*

Let’s go let’s go
like a person on the run.
Keeping the skeleton in the dark
Let’s move on to yet another lovely hometown.

 

poem in Korean

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Snow Falling on Chagall’s Village by Kim Chun-su

chagallvillage

(I and the Village, painting by Marc Chagall)

 

In Chagall’s village it snows in March.
The newly risen vein on the temple
of the young man, standing hoping for spring,
shivers.
Caressing the shivering, newly risen vein
on the temple of the young man
the snow, with thousands and tens of thousands of wings,
comes down from the sky and covers
the chimneys and roofs of Chagall’s village.
When it snows in March
in Chagall’s village fruits the size of mouse droppings
once again turn the color of olives
and at night the women folk
start the loveliest fire of the year
in the fire pit.

 

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

about the poet

video of poem read in Korean


Snow by Yun Dong-ju (December 1936)

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

Last night
snow came down in heaps

*

It must be a blanket to cover
the roof
the road the field
so they won’t be cold

*

That’s why
it only falls in cold winter

 

original Korean

about the poet


Suddenly the feeling I’m living my life wrong by O Gyu-won

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

There being nothing as easy as sleeping, not being
able to do even that with eyes wide open
between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.
between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.’s dreaming
suddenly the feeling I’m living my life wrong, this feeling
douses my head with a bucket of cold water.

Having nothing to say, turning over with eyes wide open,
hugging my wet body
Since I lived my life wrong, continuing to live wrong is also a way to live
and thus the satanic night deceives me.

 

poem in Korean

about the poet O Gyu-won


Hand that I love by Choi Seung-ja

(translated from the Korean by geul)

 

 

There, an unknowable rain is coming down
pitiable repose coming down to moisten
when I hold your hand professing love
the melancholy of existence catching in the ten fingers
there, an unknowable rain is coming down
pitiable peace coming down to moisten

 

poem in Korean