The White Martial Law by Choi Seung-ho

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

whitemartiallaw

The White Martial Law by Choi Seung-ho (1954-)

The white mountains roll like a tsunami,
and the heavy snow rages,
filling the deep white ravine,
where no snow plow can come.
A small coal-like thing flutters its wings:
a wren flies into the snowstorm.
Hikers might have lost their way here.
The snow that appears to block
the road to a remote village;
the snow that attacks, flying at you
as though the Milky Way poured down from the sky;
the strong snowstorm army that rushes in to fight,
the white martial law in which the snowstorm falls.

A small coal-like thing flutters its wings:
a scrawny wren flies toward me.
I hurriedly hide myself in the outhouse.
Is a big-eyed hawk lurking nearby?

Mountain animals may have lost their way and starve here.
The strong snowstorm army that rushes in to fight
crushes pine branches with the weight of its piles–
the white martial law of the snowstorm
falls upon the chimney of a remote house
where a meal is being cooked over snowbell firewood
sitting upon the white mountains and ravines that roll like a tsunami.

대설주의보/최승호

해일처럼 굽이치는 백색의 산들,
제설차 한 대 올 리 없는
깊은 백색의 골짜기를 메우며
굵은 눈발은 휘몰아치고,
쬐그마한 숯덩이만한 게 짧은 날개를 파닥이며…
굴뚝새가 눈보라 속으로 날아간다.
길 잃은 등산객들 있을 듯
외딴 두메마을 길 끊어놓을 듯
은하수가 펑펑 쏟아져 날아오듯 덤벼드는 눈,
다투어 몰려오는 힘찬 눈보라의 군단,
눈보라가 내리는 백색의 계엄령.

쬐그마한 숯덩이만한 게 짧은 날개를 파닥이며…
날아온다 꺼칠한 굴뚝새가
서둘러 뒷간에 몸을 감춘다.
그 어디에 부리부리한 솔개라도 도사리고 있다는 것일까.

길 잃고 굶주리는 산짐승들 있을 듯
눈더미의 무게로 소나무 가지들이 부러질 듯
다투어 몰려오는 힘찬 눈보라의 군단,
때죽나무와 때 끓이는 외딴 집 굴뚝에
해일처럼 굽이치는 백색의 산과 골짜기에
눈보라가 내리는
백색의 계엄령.

출전: “대설주의보” (민음사, 1983)

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