If We Could Meet in Water by Kang Eun-kyo

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song

Photography by Daeseock Seo

If We Could Meet in Water by Kang Eun-kyo

If we could become water and meet
Wouldn’t any family of drought welcome us?
If we could stand along with tall trees
And flow in roaring rain.

If we could flow endlessly
and moisten the dead root,
lying on the river that deepens alone.
Ah, if we could reach the shy sea
That is still a virgin.

But now
we try to meet in fire.
A bone that has become charcoal
cradles the things still burning in the world.

Beloved, who waits ten thousands Li outside,
Let us meet, after the fire passes by,
in water that flows.

When you come,
come to the spacious, clean sky where footsteps disappeared,
speaking in the sound that fire hisses

우리가 물이 되어/ 강은교

우리가 물이 되어 만난다면
가문 어느 집에선들 좋아하지 않으랴.
우리가 키 큰 나무와 함께 서서
우르르 우르르 비오는 소리로 흐른다면.

흐르고 흘러서 저물녘엔
저 혼자 깊어지는 강물에 누워
죽은 나무 뿌리를 적시기도 한다면.
아아, 아직 처녀(處女)인
부끄러운 바다에 닿는다면.

그러나 지금 우리는
불로 만나려 한다.
벌써 숯이 된 뼈 하나가
세상에 불타는 것들을 쓰다듬고 있나니.

만 리 밖에서 기다리는 그대여
저 불 지난 뒤에
흐르는 물로 만나자.

푸시시 푸시시 불 꺼지는 소리로 말하면서
올 때는 인적 그친
넓고 깨끗한 하늘로 오라.

(Darcy Brandel read an earlier version of this translation.)

One thought on “If We Could Meet in Water by Kang Eun-kyo

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