At the Winter River by Chung Ho-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song

Soyang Lake, Photo by Lee Sang-youp

At the Winter River by Chung Ho-seung

I will become a reed that doesn’t shake.
And even when the snow storm blows at the winter river bank
and even when my body falls into pieces during the storm,
I will become a reed that doesn’t shake.
The birds have flown away and not returned,
the river water has flown away and not wept–
I will become a reed that never shakes,
I will become a reed that rises again when broken down,
and will cry out if the Blue Mountain cries.

겨울 강에서/ 정호승

흔들리지 않는 갈대가 되어
겨울 강 강언덕에 눈보라 몰아쳐도
눈보라에 으스스 내 몸이 쓰러져도
흔들리지 않는 갈대가 되리
새들은 날아가 돌아오지 않고
강물은 흘러가 흐느끼지 않아도
끝끝내 흔들리지 않는 갈대가 되어
쓰러지면 일어서는 갈대가 되어
청산이 소리치면 소리쳐 울리

(Darcy Brandel and Anne Rashid read the earlier versions of this translation.)

Chung Ho-seung was born in 1950, in Hadong, Gyongsangnam-do. Since his debut in 1972 with a poem featured in the Korea Daily News, Chung has published many poetry collections, such asFrom Sorrow to HappinessJesus of Seoul, and Dawn Letter, which has achieved both critical acclaim and mass appeal. His minimal verse style interweaves the everday and the fantastic, proposing the possibility of lyrical revelation in even the most prosaic encounters.

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