Standing by a Winter Field by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Photography by Hwang Moon-sung

Photography by Hwang Moon-sung

Standing by a Winter Field by Oh Sae-young

A person suffering from love
even once
should visit a winter field.
There is fullness
of an empty space, pleasure
of a person giving freely.
A few fallen grains
on a rice paddy after the harvest.

A person mourning separation
even once
should visit a winter field.
There is comfort
in the heaven that eternalizes
these encounters on earth.
The eyes of a pond
looking up at faraway stars.

A person afflicted with longing
even once
should visit a winter field.
There is awareness
that to watch you is to watch me,
to be alone is to be with others.
The scarecrow
watching the empty field alone.

겨울들녘에서서/오세영

사랑으로 괴로운 사람은
한 번쯤
겨울 들녘에 가 볼 일이다.
빈 공간의 충만,
아낌 없이 주는 자의 기쁨이
거기 있다.
가을 걷이가 끝난 논에
떨어진 낟알 몇 개.

이별을 슬퍼하는 사람은
한번쯤
겨울 들녘에 가볼 일이다.
지상의 만남을
하늘에서 영원케 하는 자의 안식이
거기 있다.
먼 별을 우러르는
둠벙의 눈빛.

그리움으로 아픈 사람은
한번쯤
겨울 들녘에 가볼 일이다.
너를 지킨다는 것은 곧 나를 지킨다는 것,
홀로 있음으로 오히려 더불어 있게된 자의 성찰이
거기 있다.
빈들을 쓸쓸히 지키는 논둑의 저
허수아비.

osyphotoOh Se-young (1942~ )was born in Yeongkwang, Jeollanam-do. He is both a prolific poet and critic. He has published eighteencollections of poetry. His lyrical poetry is known for its simplicity; it is often imbued with Buddhist imagination of the emptiness of self and nonattachment to materialism. After years of shuttling between academia and creative writing, he has recently retired from teaching at Seoul National University. Oh is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Sowol Poetry Award, the Jung Ji-yong Literary Award, and the Manhae Literary Award.

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A Bowl 1 by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Pottery by Cho Yong-kyu

A Bowl 1 by Oh Sae-young

A broken bowl
becomes a knife blade.

Energy moving out
of control and balance–
the broken circle
with its sharp edges
opens the cold eyes of reason.

You, broken pieces,
that take aim at blind love,
I am now barefoot—
flesh waiting
to be cut.
A soul maturing deep inside a wound

A broken bowl
becomes a knife blade.
Anything broken
becomes a knife blade.

그릇 1/ 오세영

깨진 그릇은
칼날이 된다.

절제와 균형의 중심에서
빗나간 힘
부서진 원은 모를 세우고
이성의 차가운
눈을 뜨게 한다.

맹목의 사랑을 노리는
사금파리여,
지금 나는 맨발이다.
베어지기를 기다리는
살이다.
상처 깊숙이서 성숙하는 혼

깨진 그릇은
칼날이 된다.
무엇이나 깨진 것은
칼이 된다.

A Gentle Cow by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chaepyong Song and Darcy Brandel

An Old Farmer and His Cow

A Gentle Cow by Oh Sae-young

As I finish the last line of a poem,
my ballpoint pen, whose ink ran out,
collapses, completely exhausted, on the blank page.
Have a good rest.
I will mark the period with my tear.
In recollection, the overworked life.
The cow was not the only one who ploughs.
All these days you have ploughed many fields.
Unsparingly pouring out
all sweat and tears
even the last drop of blood collected at your heart,
without regrets, you now leave the world.
If only my poetry can accompany you . . . .
A gentle cow
who collapsed with a frothy mouth
on the field well plowed and sown.

착한 소/ 오세영
시행의 마지막 구절을 막 끝내자
잉크가 다한 볼펜
기진맥진 원고지의 여백에
펄썩 쓰러져 버린다.
편히 쉬어라.
피어리어드는 내 눈물로 찍겠다.
돌아보면 너무도 혹사당한 일생.
경지는 다만 소만이 가는 것이 아니었다.
그동안 참 많은 밭을 갈았구나.
땀과 눈물과
심장에 고인 마지막 한 방울의 피까지
아낌없이 쏟아내고 너는 지금
후회 없이 이승을 떠나는구나
내 시가 너를 따를 수만 있다면…
잘 갈아 씨 뿌린 밭두렁에
거품을 문 채 쓰러진
착한 소 한 마리.

Erasing Myself by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photographed by Hye Hyon

Erasing Myself
On the mountain,
to live along with the mountain
is to become the mountain
If a tree erases itself,
it becomes a forest;
if a forest erases itself,
it becomes a mountain.
On the mountain,
to live befriending the mountain
is to erase myself.
To erase myself
is also to erase you,
like a bellflower that blooms
by burning up longing
all night long.
When dew erases itself
it becomes fog;
when fog erases itself
it becomes a blue sky.
Likewise, on the mountain,
to live along with the mountain
is to erase myself.
나를 지우고/ 오세영
산에서
산과 더불어 산다는 것은
산이 된다는 것이다.
나무가 나무를 지우면
숲이 되고,
숲이 숲을 지우면
산이 되고,
산에서
산과 벗하여 산다는 것은
나를 지우는 일이다.
나를 지운다는 것은 곧
너를 지운다는 것,
밤새
그리움을 살라 먹고 피는
초롱꽃처럼
이슬이 이슬을 지우면
안개가 되고,
안개가 안개를 지우면
푸른 하늘이 되듯
산에서
산과 더불어 산다는 것은
나를 지우는 일이다.

 YouTube version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBWfAJbrQwc&feature=relmfu

Dwelling in Winter by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Photographed by Hye Hyon

Dwelling in Winter by Oh Sae-young

By the back wall of Mukum temple,
in a sunny spot,
tens of pots, large and small
cuddled in clusters
warm themselves up for the winter season
standing neatly on the pot terrace.
Soy sauce brimming in the sauce pot
bean paste filling up the paste pot
sitting out their fermentation
turning the frozen fall into a gong
turning the cutting wind into a chant
the ceaseless meditation
silently pursuing even in the bitter cold

冬安居 동안거 / 오세영

무금선원(無今禪院) 뒷담
양지 바른 곳
크고 작은 항아리들 수십 개가
올망졸망
장독대에 정좌하여겨울 한철을
빛바래기가 한 창이다.
간장독엔 간장이 출렁
된장독엔 된장이 가득
그 발효의 날을 기다려
빙폭(氷瀑)을 목탁 삼아
칼바람 염불 삼아
강추위에도 묵묵히 정진하는 그
부단한 참선수행(參禪修行)

Oh Se-young (1942~ )was born in Yeongkwang, Jeollanam-do. He is both a prolific poet and critic. He has published eighteencollections of poetry. His lyrical poetry is known for its simplicity; it is often imbued with Buddhist imagination of the emptiness of self and nonattachment to materialism. After years of shuttling between academia and creative writing, he has recently retired from teaching at Seoul National University. Oh is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Sowol Poetry Award, the Jung Ji-yong Literary Award, and the Manhae Literary Award.

The Snow Flower by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photo by Kim Jaegon

The Snow Flower by Oh Sae-young

Just by observing the snow flower
that blooms on winter’s dry boughs,
I know flowers are not the only ones that bloom.
Across a lifetime, anyone can become a flower
if he purifies his hot blood.
Throwing away greed,
hatred,
and pity,
standing alone as a dry bare tree
at the peak of a harsh winter cold
when I cannot step even one step further,
the rank flesh of my youth becomes petals,
the stiff bone stamens
the turbid blood perfume.
I can embrace the deep blue sky alone.
Just by observing the snow flower
that blooms on winter’s dry boughs
I know flowers are not the only ones that bloom.

화/ 오세영
꽃나무만 꽃을 피우지 않는다는 것은
겨울의 마른 나뭇가지에 핀 雪花를 보면
안다.
누구나 한 생애를 건너
뜨거운 피를 맑게 승화시키면 마침내
꽃이 되는 법,
욕심과
미움과
애련을 버려
한 발 재겨 디딜 수 없는
혹독한 겨울의 추위, 그 절정에
홀로 한 그루 메마른 裸木으로 서면
내 청춘의 비린 살은 꽃잎이 되고,
굳은 뼈는 꽃술이 되고,
탁한 피는 향기가 되어
새파란 하늘을 호올로 안느니
꽃나무만 꽃을 피우지 않는다는 것은
겨울의 마른 나뭇가지에 핀 雪花를 보면
안다.

Oh Se-young (1942~ )was born in Yeongkwang, Jeollanam-do. He is both a prolific poet and critic. He has published eighteencollections of poetry. His lyrical poetry is known for its simplicity; it is often imbued with Buddhist imagination of the emptiness of self and nonattachment to materialism. After years of shuttling between academia and creative writing, he has recently retired from teaching at Seoul National University. Oh is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Sowol Poetry Award, the Jung Ji-yong Literary Award, and the Manhae Literary Award.

Like the Tree by Oh Sae-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

 

Photographed by Laurie Kopack

Like the Tree by Oh Sae-young

As trees get along with trees,
so we should live,
as boughs holding each other’s hands
endure a long cold season.

As trees look upwards to a clear sky,
so we should live,
as leaves open up their hearts
to take in lovely sunlight.

As trees grow amid rain and wind,
so we should grow,
as their deep roots
tenaciously withstand a ferocious storm.

As trees by themselves can discern each season,
so we should live.
They know when a flower emerges and a leaf falls,
and know simply when to step back.

나무처럼/ 오세영

나무가 나무끼리 어울려 살듯
우리도 그렇게
살 일이다.
가지와 가지가 손목을 잡고
긴 추위를 견디어 내듯

나무가 맑은 하늘을 우러러 살듯
우리도 그렇게
살 일이다.
잎과 잎들이 가슴을 열고
고운 햇살을 받아 안듯

나무가 비바람 속에서 크듯
우리도 그렇게
클 일이다.
대지에 깊숙이 내린 뿌리로
사나운 태풍 앞에 당당히 서듯

나무가 스스로 철을 분별할 줄을 알듯
우리도 그렇게
살 일이다.
꽃과 잎이 피고 질 때를
그 스스로 물러설 때를 알 듯

Oh Sae-young (1942~ ) was born in Yeongkwang, Jeollanam-do. He is both a prolific poet and critic. He has published eighteen collections of poetry. His lyrical poetry is known for its simplicity; it is often imbued with Buddhist imagination of the emptiness of self and nonattachment to materialism. After years of shuttling between academia and creative writing, he has recently retired from teaching at Seoul National University. Oh is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the Sowol Poetry Award, the Jung Ji-yong Literary Award, and the Manhae Literary Award.