To the Poor Person by Chung Ho-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song

Painted by Kim Seon-soo

To the Poor Person by Chung Ho-seung

Today again, for you
I hung a lamp outside the window.
Today again, I couldn’t wait for you any longer,
and I hung a heart outside the window.
Night has come, wind blows,
and at last snow falls.
I couldn’t wait for you any longer,
and I became a man of poor heart.
I became a man who suddenly thinks of a star
as I walk alone on the snow-covered field.

가난한 사람에게/ 정호승

내 오늘도 그대를 위해
창 밖에 등불 하나 내어 걸었습니다
내 오늘도 그대를 기다리다 못해
마음 하나 창 밖에 걸어두었습니다
밤이 오고 바람이 불고
드디어 눈이 내릴 때까지
내 그대를 기다리다 못해
가난한 마음의 사람이 되었습니다
눈 내린 들길을 홀로 걷다가
문득 별을 생각하는 사람이 되었습니다

(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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