The Stars are Warm by Chung Ho-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song

Olympic National Park, Washington, Photo by Joon Park, ©2011 TalentShare

The Stars are Warm by Chung Ho-seung

The sky has eyes.
I don’t have to be afraid.
When in dark, dark winter
I walk on the snow-covered barley field
and meet the night without dawn,
the stars rising above the sky of my poverty
are warm.

To me
time for truth is already late;
what I once called Forgiveness
was all lies.
But, when I walk on the street of dawn the North wind has passed
and meet the night without dawn,
the stars rising above the sky of my death
are warm.

별들은 따뜻하다 / 정호승

하늘에는 눈이 있다
두려워할 것은 없다
캄캄한 겨울
눈 내린 보리밭길을 걸어가다가
새벽이 지나지 않고 밤이 올 때
내 가난의 하늘 위로 떠오른
별들은 따뜻하다

나에게
진리의 때는 이미 늦었으나
내가 용서라고 부르던 것들은
모든 거짓이었으나
북풍이 지나간 새벽거리를 걸으며
새벽이 지나지 않고 또 밤이 올 때
내 죽음의 하늘 위로 떠오른
별들은 따뜻하다

(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.

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