Park Gwan-hyun by Ko Un

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Painted by Ha Sung-hub

Park Gwan-hyun by Ko Un

He himself lamented that his death came late.
But his death did come
when he had to die.
Three years after the Gwangju Uprising
he died in a prison,
not on Kunnam-ro Street,
Park Gwan-hyun, a son of Mudeung Mountain.
He ran
when the airborne martial troops
were crisscrossing Gwangju.
He hid himself
waiting for the time to fight,
and he ran again,
Park Gwan-hyun, President of the Student Government Council
at Chonnam National University.

He crossed to Dolsan in Yeosu
after the martial troops occupied Gwangju,
slaying their way into the city.
He missed the battle of Gwangju,
and went over to Amtaedo Island and Chorando Island in Mokpo.
And then in June that year
he ran to Seoul.
Park Gwan-hyun, a wanted man,
ran again in Seoul
just before his arrest.
He worked at a small factory
under the name of Park Gun-wook;
he hid himself there for one year and ten months
but was finally arrested.
In prison,
he fought and fought,
eating rice mixed with sunflower seeds,
but he died in the prison,
Park Gwan-hyun, thirty years old.

Park Gwan-hyun who shouted like a lion
on the night of May 10, 1980,
on the water fountain in front of Provincial Hall,
to tens of thousands citizens and students,
“My comrades, the reason we are having this torch parade
Is to make democracy bloom in this land
And to achieve national reunification.”
Even his body was taken away,
and there was no funeral for him.
He was buried in the red-clay mountain
Youngkwang, in his hometown.
Why did you go
on a moonlit night?
A moonlit night that is not ours yet,
a dawn that is not ours yet–
why did you go for good
on a moonlit dawn?

But Park Gwan-hyun,
whenever people are silent
and Mudeung Mountain shouts,
Park Gwan-hun rises
and comes to Kunnam-ro Street.
He comes to the stormy Kunnam-ro Street,
surely.

박관현/ 고은

그 자신은 그의 죽음을 늦었다고 슬퍼했다
그러나 그의 죽음은
그가 죽어야 할 때 죽은 것이다
그는 광주항쟁 3년이 지나
금남로 거리가 아니라
감옥에서 죽어나온 것이다
무등의 아들 박관현
그는 튀었다
계엄군 공수부대가
광주를 누비고 있는데
그는 숨어서
싸움의 때를 노리다가 또 튀었다
전남대총학생회장 박관현

그는 여수 돌산으로 건너갔다
계엄군이 학살로
광주를 점령한 뒤
그는 광주의 싸움을 놓쳐버리고
목포 암태도 초란도를 건너갔다가
그해 6월
서울로 튀었다
현상수배 주요인물 박관현
서울에서 체포 직전에
또 튀었다
영세공장 노동자로 일했다
이름은 박건욱
1년 10개월 동안 숨었다가
끝내 그는 체포되었다
감옥에서
나팔꽃씨 넣은 밥 먹으며
싸우고 싸우다가
감옥에서 죽어나온 것이다
나이 서른살 박관현

1980년 5월 10일 밥 도청앞 분수대에서
몇만 시민과 학도 앞에서
우리가 횃불대행진을 하는 것은
이 땅에 민주주의의 꽃을 피게 하고
민족통일을 이룩하자는 것입니다
여러분
하고 사자처럼 부르짖던 박관현
그의 주검조차 빼앗겨
장례식도 못 치르고
고향땅 영광 황토산에 묻혀버렸다
어쩌자고 님은
달밤에 가시었나
아직은 우리의 밤이 아닌 달밤
아직은 우리의 새벽이 아닌 새벽
어쩌자고 님은 달밤에
새벽에 영 가시었나

그러나 박관현
무등 있어
사람이 침묵하고
무등이 소리칠 때마다
박관현은 일어나
금남로에 온다
바람치는 금남로에 온다

kounphotoKo Un was born in Kunsan, Jeollabuk-do in 1933. As a recipient of numerous literary awards, Ko Un is one of the most famous contemporary poets in Korea. Since his debut in Hyondae Munhak in 1958, he has since produced over 120 literary works, including novels and critical writings. In 2010 he completed Maninbo, a now 30-volume poetry collection that had been published in installments over a period of twenty three years.

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