The Snow Flower by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photo by Kim Jaegon

The Snow Flower by Oh Sae-young

Just by observing the snow flower
that blooms on winter’s dry boughs,
I know flowers are not the only ones that bloom.
Across a lifetime, anyone can become a flower
if he purifies his hot blood.
Throwing away greed,
hatred,
and pity,
standing alone as a dry bare tree
at the peak of a harsh winter cold
when I cannot step even one step further,
the rank flesh of my youth becomes petals,
the stiff bone stamens
the turbid blood perfume.
I can embrace the deep blue sky alone.
Just by observing the snow flower
that blooms on winter’s dry boughs
I know flowers are not the only ones that bloom.

화/ 오세영
꽃나무만 꽃을 피우지 않는다는 것은
겨울의 마른 나뭇가지에 핀 雪花를 보면
안다.
누구나 한 생애를 건너
뜨거운 피를 맑게 승화시키면 마침내
꽃이 되는 법,
욕심과
미움과
애련을 버려
한 발 재겨 디딜 수 없는
혹독한 겨울의 추위, 그 절정에
홀로 한 그루 메마른 裸木으로 서면
내 청춘의 비린 살은 꽃잎이 되고,
굳은 뼈는 꽃술이 되고,
탁한 피는 향기가 되어
새파란 하늘을 호올로 안느니
꽃나무만 꽃을 피우지 않는다는 것은
겨울의 마른 나뭇가지에 핀 雪花를 보면
안다.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s