In the Field Filling Up with Snow

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

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In the Field Filling Up with Snow By Seo Jeong-ju

It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right–
the snowflakes fall in heaps,
embracing even the sound of baby pheasants and quails
returning to their nests.

It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right–
the snowflakes fall like fluffy cotton,
embracing even the sound of young girls with rosy cheeks
returning to their nests.

It embraces even the sound of all the fortunes returning home,
the crying,
the laughing,
the burdened ones
now getting up strongly.

To the big ones, big tear traces,
to the small ones, small laugh lines;
the sound of big stories and small stories
returning home, whispering softly.

It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right,
It’s   all   right–
the snowflakes fall constantly,
embracing even the sound of many mountains–
the Blue Mountains* returning home.

*The Blue Mountains: mythical mountains located somewhere in China where a legend says all mountains originate from.

내리는 눈밭 속에서는/서정주

괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
수부룩이 내려오는 눈발속에서는
까투리 매추래기 새끼들도 깃들이어 오는 소리…

괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
포근히 내려오는 눈밭속에서는
낯이 붉은 處女아이들도 깃들이어 오는 소리…

울고
웃고
수구리고
새파라니 얼어서
運命들이 모두다 안끼어 드는 소리…

큰놈에겐 큰눈물자죽, 작은놈에겐 작은 웃음 흔적
큰이얘기 작은이얘기들이 오부록이 도란 그리며 안끼어 오는 소리

괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
괜, 찬, 타,…
끊임없이 내리는 눈발 속에서는
山도 山도 靑山도 안끼어 드는 소리

seojungjuphotoSeo Jeong-ju (1915 – 2000) was born in Gochang, Jeollabuk-do. He is considered the founding father of modern Korean poetry. Under the pen name Midang, he published at least 15 collections of poetry. He taught Korean literature at Chosun University, among others. He was also nominated five times for the Nobel Prize in literature. His grandmother’s stories and his interest in Buddhism had a strong influence upon his writing. His works have been translated into a number of languages, including English, French, Spanish and German.

8 thoughts on “In the Field Filling Up with Snow

  1. It’s all right..
    Whenever I was angry or disappointed with somebody or myself, I speak it to myself, ” it’s all right”.
    It really has healing power….

    괜찬타.. 괜찬아..
    언제나 다시 일어설수 있는 힘을 주는 말들입니다..
    화나고 속상할때, 또는 나자신에 실망스러울때… 조용히 되뇌이면.. 마법같이 다시 용기가 생기는..

  2. Pingback: Searching for Relevance: Shi (Poetry) | Reel Nerve

  3. I really enjoy reading your translations! Will there be any poems about spring? I hope there will be! Thank you for your work, and for posting such lovely things!

    • I agree! I had to analyze some poems in my literature class back in Korea, and Korean poems are some of the most difficult to analyze (in my opinion). Because the words are so simple yet carry strange meanings, it’s more challenging!

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