Prologue by Ra Hee-duk

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Choi Il-ryoung

Prologue by Ra Hee-duk

When it hasn’t even warmed
one person’s heart,
there is a fire in my heart
that makes only thick smoke.
Isn’t it time for the flame to go out yet?

서시/ 나희덕

단 한 사람의 가슴도
제대로 지피지 못했으면서
무성한 연기만 내고 있는
내 마음의 군불이여
꺼지려면 아직 멀었느냐

Ra Hee-duk (나희덕) was born in 1966 in Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do. She received her Ph.D. in Korean literature from Yonsei University in 2006. She has published six books of poetry: To the Root(1991), The Word Dyed the Leaves (1994), The Place is Not Far (1997), That It Gets Dark (2001), A Disappeared Palm (2004), and Wild Apples (2009). She also published one collection of essays, A Half-filled Water Bucket (1999), and a volume of literary criticism, Where Does Purple Come From? (2003). Among her many literary awards are the Kim Suyoung Literature Award (1998), Modern Literature Award (2003) and the Sowol Poetry Award (2007). Growing up at the orphanages, because her father was an administrator at an orphanage, she developed her strong sympathy for the less fortunate others. She currently teaches creative writing at Chosun University in Gwangju.

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