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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Korean Poetry in
Translation
A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation

In the Field Filling Up with Snow


Posted on February 7, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

In the Field Filling Up with Snow By Seo Jeong-ju

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Its all right,


Its all right,
Its all right,
Its all right
the snowflakes fall in heaps,
embracing even the sound of baby pheasants and quails
returning to their nests.

Its all right,


Its all right,
Its all right,
Its all right
the snowflakes fall like fluffy cotton,
embracing even the sound of young girls with rosy cheeks
returning to their nests.

It embraces even the sound of all the fortunes returning home,


the crying,
the laughing,
the burdened ones
now getting up strongly.

To the big ones, big tear traces,


to the small ones, small laugh lines;
the sound of big stories and small stories
returning home, whispering softly.

Its all right,


Its all right,
Its all right,
Its all right
the snowflakes fall constantly,
embracing even the sound of many mountains
the Blue Mountains* returning home.

*The Blue Mountains: mythical mountains located somewhere in China where a legend says all mountains originate
from.

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

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Seo Jeong-ju (1915 2000) was born in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do. He is considered


the founding father of modern Korean poetry. Under the pen name Midang, he
published at least 15 collections of poetry. He taught Korean literature at Chosun
University, among others. He was also nominated five times for the Nobel Prize in
literature. His grandmothers stories and his interest in Buddhism had a strong
influence upon his writing. His works have been translated into a number of languages,
including English, French, Spanish and German.

Posted in Seo Jung-ju | Tagged Snow, winnter poem | 9 Replies

The Snowy Night by Moon Tae-jun


Posted on January 20, 2013

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Anne Rashid

The Snowy Night by Moon Tae-jun

Oh, my lover
who had pure eyes;
oh, the silver scales
that occupied your eyes.
Tonight snow falls.
Oh, my poor lover
who wrapped my neck
with a white towel and washed my face,
a sacred quiet descends
upon the lonely planet.
I close my eyes
to remember the time
your hands washed my face.

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17


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Moon Tae-jun (1970-) has published four collections of poetry:Chattering


Backyard (2000), Bare Foot (2004), Flatfish (2006), and Shadows Development (2008)
as well as other essays and commentary. One of the most popular poets of the
younger generation, Moon uses deceptively simple poetic language with profound
lyricism, commenting on the struggle of daily life. Grounded in Buddhist philosophy,
his poems speak with reverence for all forms of life and emphasize the necessity of
emptying oneself. Moon is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the
Dongseo Literature Award (2004), the Midang Literature Award (2005), and the Sowol
Poetry Award (2007).

Posted in Moon Tae-jun | Tagged love, Snow, winter poem | 4 Replies

The Word of the Wind by Mah Jonggi


Posted on January 16, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Photography by Shawn Malone

The Word of the Wind by Mah Jonggi (1939-)

After all of us leave,


if my spirit passes by you,
dont think even for a moment it is
the wind that sways the spring boughs.
Today I will plant a flower
on a corner of the shadow
where I got to know you;
when the flower grows to bloom,
all the distress that stemmed from our acquaintance
will turn into petals and fly away.

It will turn into petals and fly away.


Though it is unbearably distant
and futile,
how can we measure all the things in the world
with only a small ruler?
When every now and then you turn your ears toward where the wind blows,
my beloved, dont forget even if you become tired

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

the word of the wind that comes from faraway.




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Posted in Mah Jonggi | Tagged language, wind, Word | 6 Replies

The Leper by Seo Jung-ju


Posted on January 16, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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Photography by Jung Beom-tae

The Leper by Seo Jung-ju (1915-2000)

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

The sunlight from the sky


filled the leper with sorrows.

He gobbled up a baby
when the moon rose over the barley field.*

All night he cried scarlet cries like flowers.

* There once was a myth in Korea that if lepers ate a babys liver, they would be cured.

: (1936)

Seo Jeong-ju (1915 2000) was born in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do. He is considered


the founding father of modern Korean poetry. Under the pen name Midang, he
published at least 15 collections of poetry. He taught Korean literature at Chosun
University, among others. He was also nominated five times for the Nobel Prize in
literature. His grandmothers stories and his interest in Buddhism had a strong
influence upon his writing. His works have been translated into a number of languages,
including English, French, Spanish and German.

Posted in Seo Jung-ju | Tagged leper | Leave a reply

The Flower by Kim Chun-soo


Posted on January 16, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Photography by Na Mari

The Flower by Kim Chun-soo (1922-2004)

Before I called her name,


she was nothing
more than a gesture.

When I called her name,


she came to me
and became a flower.

Like I called her name,


will someone please call my name
that suits my light and fragrance?
I, too, long to come to her
and become her flower.

We all long to be something.


You, to me, and I, to you,
long to become a gaze that wont be forgotten.

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17



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Posted in Kim Chun-soo | Tagged Flower | 5 Replies

By the Winter River by Ahn Do-hyun


Posted on January 15, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Photography by Bok Hyo-geun

By the Winter River by Ahn Do-hyun (1961- )

The river
took pity on the delicate snowflakes,
which jumped down into none other than the river water
and disappeared, melting shapelessly.
So, it tossed and turned,
to change its posture
before the snowflakes hit its water.
Every time it turned, the river water made a fierce sound.
Unknowingly,
the innocent snow fell endlessly,
and the river,
from the night before,
began to form thin ice, starting from its edge,
in order to save the snow with its own body.

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged river, winter poem | 1 Reply

Winter. Snow. Tree. Forest by Ki Hyung-do


Posted on January 15, 2013

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

Photography by L. J. Sladek

Winter. Snow. Tree. Forest by Ki Hyung-do (1960-1989)

The snow
piles up here and there,
without being able to get all the way out of the forest.

Is it you?
Dont hurry.
Thump. He falls down,
hit by a sharp blade.

I return home,
dragging the tree.
As I trim off the twigs,
I listen to the silence of the tree:
I am here.
Death is unmasked life.
Our lives, our winters are like that, too.

We kindle fire

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Korean Poetry in Translation | A collection of contemporary Korean poetry in translation 31/8/17 13'17

toward the pain


that resembles ourselves.
The night in the forest beyond the window
tosses its body for a deeper quiet.

Till I confirm my clean death


I will be absent,
keeping a beautiful distance from whoever sparks a flame,
and warming my heart little by little.

The morning rising in the late winter


is what comes to make the most perfect nature.
Afterward,
against the direction the snow melts and flows
our spring will come.

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Posted in Ki Hyung-do | Tagged Snow, Tree, winter poem | Leave a reply

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