Dwelling in Winter by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Photographed by Hye Hyon

Dwelling in Winter by Oh Sae-young

By the back wall of Mukum temple,
in a sunny spot,
tens of pots, large and small
cuddled in clusters
warm themselves up for the winter season
standing neatly on the pot terrace.
Soy sauce brimming in the sauce pot
bean paste filling up the paste pot
sitting out their fermentation
turning the frozen fall into a gong
turning the cutting wind into a chant
the ceaseless meditation
silently pursuing even in the bitter cold

冬安居 동안거 / 오세영

무금선원(無今禪院) 뒷담
양지 바른 곳
크고 작은 항아리들 수십 개가
올망졸망
장독대에 정좌하여겨울 한철을
빛바래기가 한 창이다.
간장독엔 간장이 출렁
된장독엔 된장이 가득
그 발효의 날을 기다려
빙폭(氷瀑)을 목탁 삼아
칼바람 염불 삼아
강추위에도 묵묵히 정진하는 그
부단한 참선수행(參禪修行)

Oh Se-young (1942~ )was born in Yeongkwang, Jeollanam-do. He is both a prolific poet and critic. He has published eighteencollections of poetry. His lyrical poetry is known for its simplicity; it is often imbued with Buddhist imagination of the emptiness of self and nonattachment to materialism. After years of shuttling between academia and creative writing, he has recently retired from teaching at Seoul National University. Oh is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Sowol Poetry Award, the Jung Ji-yong Literary Award, and the Manhae Literary Award.

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