Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
Dangling by Moon In-soo
The grandmother who lives alone visits the district office. So bent, she looks like a snail.
She walks up the alley unbearably slowly, as if licking her life, hiding her hungry belly, folded in upon itself. At the end of the serpentine alleyway, she squats down alone, dangling;
she resumes walking and rests again. Below the electric pole, why, a dandelion blossom is yellow. At the bottom, the end of her memory
Yellow, starved of milk. When are you going to climb over the sky’s summit, dangling?
As the kettle’s top breaks off, a birds flies away some point in time.
독거노인 저 할머니 동사무소 간다. 잔뜩 꼬부라져 달팽이 같다
그렇게 고픈 배 접어감추며
여생을 핥는지, 참 애터지게 느리게
골목길 걸어올라간다. 골목길 꼬불꼬불한 끝에 달랑 쪼그리고 앉아 꼭지야,
걷다가 또 쉬는데
전봇대 아래 웬 민들레 꽃 한 송이
노랗다. 바닥에 기억의 끝이
젖배 곯아 노랗다. 이년의 꼭지야 그 언제 하늘 꼭대기도 넘어가랴.
주전자 꼭다리 떨어져나가듯 저, 어느 한점 시간처럼 새 날아간다.
Moon In-soo (1945-) was born in Sungju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. He studied Korean literature at Dongkuk University in Seoul. He made his debut when he was forty two years old. He published such poetry collections as All the Roads In the World Lead To Home (1992), The Horn (1992), The Nesting Mountain (1999), Shhh! (2006), Umbilical Cord (2008) andThe Sound of Silence (2012). His prestigious literary awards include the Kim Dal-jin Literary Award (2000), the No Jak Literary Award (2003), and the Meedang Literary Award (2007).