Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
The Snowy Village by Kim Yong-taek (1948-)
Have you entered a snowy village in the evening?
Have you seen a snowy village
where snow falls from the sky
and the village quietly receives it?
As you enter the village, all the roads of the world end,
even those to the rice paddies and farm fields.
It is useless to turn around to see the road I have traveled.
It lies in white.
Everything is of no use any longer.
The life of no return quietly lies ahead of me, without any roads.
Oh the snow falls, filling the evening sky!
If you look closely and push away the snow,
there is nothing you will not see in this world.
Only the snow that has come to this world after living in the sky carefully descends,
dropping its feet on the dark roofs of this world, with its two eyes closed.
눈 오는 마을/김용택
저녁 눈 오는 마을에 들어서 보았느냐
하늘에서 눈이 내리고
마을이 조용히 그 눈을 다 맞는
눈 오는 마을을 보았느냐
논과 밭과 이 세상에 난 길이란 길들이
마을에 들어서며 조용히 끝나고
내가 걸어온 길도
뒤돌아 볼 것 없다 하얗게 눕는다
이제 아무 것도 더는 소용없다 돌아설 수 없는 삶이
길 없이 내 앞에 가만히 놓인다
저녁 하늘에 가득 오는 눈이여
가만히 눈발을 헤치고 들여다보면
이 세상엔 보이지 않은 것 하나 없다
하늘에서 살다가 이 세상에 온 눈들이 두 눈을 감으며
조심조심 하얀 발을 이 세상 어두운 지붕 위에
Kim Yong-taek (1948- ) was born in Imsil, Jeollabuk-do. With lyrical (often regional) vernacular, he has written many poems about undamaged agricultural communities and the profound beauty of nature. His poetry collections include The Sumjin River, A Clear Day, Sister, The Day Is Getting Dark, The Flower Letter I Miss, Times Like A River, That Woman’s House, and Your Daring Love. He also published essay collections such as A Small Village,What’s Longed for Exists behind the Mountain, A Story of the Sumjin River, and Follow the Sumjin River and Watch. He was awarded the Kim Soo-young Literary Award (1986) and the Sowol Poetry Award (1997). He currently teaches at Woonam Elementary School.