A Spring Day by Kim Yong-taek

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kang Jang-won

A Spring Day by Kim Yong-taek

If you are looking for me,
and all you find is a hoe covered with soil
in the kitchen garden,

just know that I have gone
to admire plum blossoms,
following the spring water of the Sumjin River,
holding a lovely woman’s hand.

봄날/김용택

나 찾다가
텃밭에
흙 묻은 호미만 있거든

예쁜 여자랑 손잡고
섬진강 봄물을 따라서
매화꽃 보러 간 줄 알그라.

Kim Yong-taek (1948- ) was born in Imsil, Jeollabuk-do. With lyrical (often regional) vernacular, he has written many poems about undamaged agricultural communities and the profound beauty of nature. His poetry collections include The Sumjin River,A Clear Day, Sister, The Day Is Getting Dark, The Flower Letter I Miss, Times Like A River, That Woman’s House, and Your Daring Love. He also published essay collections such as A Small Village,What’s Longed for Exists behind the Mountain, A Story of the Sumjin River, and Follow the Sumjin River and Watch. He was awarded the Kim Soo-young Literary Award (1986) and the Sowol Poetry Award (1997). He currently teaches at Woonam Elementary School.

3 thoughts on “A Spring Day by Kim Yong-taek

  1. What a beautiful poem. I enjoyed reading it in English and slowly — sloooowly — working through it in Korean. Professor Song, your efforts to make this poetry available has enriched my experience of life in Korea. Thank you.

  2. What a beautiful poem. I enjoyed reading the English translation and slowly — sloooowly — working through it in Korean. Professor Song, your efforts to make Korean poetry available in English has enriched my experience of life in Korea. Thank you!

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