The Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza by Lee Si-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

The Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza by Lee Si-young

The Argentinian Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza
is known to have adhered to three rules.
First, they will not dig up the bodies of their missing children;
second, they will not erect memorials to them;
third, they will not receive monetary rewards.
Because within their hearts their children have never died,
they cannot imprison the noble spirits of their children
within the cold stones, and they cannot take money
which would desecrate their children’s  souls
who have been either dead or missing
in their rebellion against injustice.

5월 어머니회/ 이시영

아르헨띠나의 ‘5월 어머니회’는 지금도 세 가지의 금도를
지킨다고 한다. 첫째로 실종된 자식들의 주검을 발굴하지 않으며,
둘째로 기념비를 세우지 않으며, 셋째로 금전보상을 받지 않는다.
왜냐하면 아이들은 아직 그들의 가슴속에서 결코 죽은 것이 아니며,
그들의 고귀한 정신을 절대로 차가운 돌 속에 가둘 수 없으며,
불의에 항거하다 죽거나 실종된 자식들의 영혼을 돈으로 모독할
수 없기 때문이다.

Lee Si-young (1949- ) was born in Gurye, Jeollanamdo. He studied creative writing at Seorabeol College of Arts. Since his literary debut in 1969, he has published poetry collections such as The Full Moon (1976), Into the Wind (1986), Friend, the Road Is Far (1988), The Song Dangling with Dew (1991), The Pattern (1994), The Gap (1996), The Quiet Blue Sky (1997), The Silver Whistle (2003), The Sea Lake (2004), The Aroma of Cow Dung(2005), and For Our Dead (2007). He has received many prestigious literary awards, including The Jung Ji-yong Literary Award (1996), The Dongseo Literary Award (1998), Modern Buddhist Literary Award (2004), The Jihoon Award (2004) and The Baeksok Literary Award (2004). For the last forty years, he has strived to write “poetry, resisting the reality and contradictions of the day.” He currently teaches creative writing at Dankuk University in Seoul.

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