In the Field Filling Up with Snow

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

view

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.

The Leper by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Jung Beom-tae

Photography by Jung Beom-tae

The Leper by Seo Jung-ju (1915-2000)

The sunlight from the sky
filled the leper with sorrows.

He gobbled up a baby
when the moon rose over the barley field.*

All night he cried scarlet cries like flowers.

* There once was a myth in Korea that if lepers ate a baby’s liver, they would be cured.

문둥이/서정주

해와 하늘 빛이
문둥이는 서러워

보리밭에 달 뜨면
애기 하나 먹고

꽃처럼 붉은 우름을 밤새 우렀다

출전: “시인부락” (1936)

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.

This Azure Day by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Peter Park

Photography by Peter Park

This Azure Day by Seo Jung-ju

On this blindingly azure day,
let us long for those we miss.

There, where autumn flowers sit,
green has given in to red.

Let the snow fall.
Let spring return.

What if you are alive when I die?
What if I am alive when you die?

On this blindingly azure day,
let us long for those we miss.

푸르른 날/서정주(1915~2000)

눈이 부시게 푸르른 날은
그리운 사람을 그리워하자.

저기 저기 저, 가을 꽃 자리
초록이 지쳐 단풍 드는데

눈이 내리면 어이하리야
봄이 또 오면 어이하리야

내가 죽고서 네가 산다면!
네가 죽고서 내가 산다면?

눈이 부시게 푸르른 날은
그리운 사람을 그리워 하자.

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.

The Self-portrait by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

The Self-portrait by Seo Jung-ju

Father was a servant; he did not come home, though the night was dark.
All that were left standing were my grandmother, aged like a leek root,
and one flowering date tree.
While pregnant, Mother said she wanted to eat a green apricot, just one.
Beneath the lamplight, within earthen walls withstanding the wind,
is this mother’s son with blackened nails.
They say I take after the thick hair and big eyes of Grandfather,
who went out to sea in the year of the Kabo Reform
and never returned.

The last twenty-three years, the wind has raised eighty percent of me.
The more I see the world, the more shameful it is.
Some read a sinner in my eyes;
others read an imbecile on my lips.
But I will regret nothing.

Even on the morning that rises brilliantly,
the dew of poetry dangling upon my forehead
is always mixed with a few drops of blood.
Through light and shade, I have come this far,
panting like a sick dog, tongue lolling.

자화상/서정주

애비는 종이었다. 밤이 깊어도 오지 않았다.
파뿌리같이 늙은 할머니와 대추꽃이 한 주 서 있을 뿐이었다.
어매는 달을 두고 풋살구가 꼭 하나만 먹고 싶다 하였으나……
흙으로 바람벽 한 호롱불 밑에
손톱이 까만 에미의 아들
갑오년(甲午年)이라든가 바다에 나가서는 돌아오지 않는다 하는
외할아버지의 숱 많은 머리털과
그 커다란 눈이 나는 닮았다 한다.

스물세 해 동안 나를 키운 건 팔할(八割)이 바람이다.
세상은 가도가도 부끄럽기만 하드라.
어떤 이는 내 눈에서 죄인(罪人)을 읽고 가고
어떤 이는 내 입에서 천치(天痴)를 읽고 가나
나는 아무것도 뉘우치진 않을란다.

찬란히 티워 오는 어느 아침에도
이마 위에 얹힌 시(詩)의 이슬에는
몇 방울의 피가 언제나 섞여 있어
볕이거나 그늘이거나 혓바닥 늘어뜨린
병든 수캐마냥 헐떡거리며 나는 왔다.

Seo 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.

Chunhyang’s Last Words by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Choi Il-ryoung


Chunhyang’s Words: Part Three,
Chunhyang’s Last Words by Seo Jung-ju

Farewell,
Young Master.

Like the thick, green tree
under whose shade we stood together
when we first met on Dano of May,*
I wish you well forever, forever.

Though I don’t know for sure
where the other world is,
however far away it is,
my love will be able to travel.

Even though I may flow as dark water thousands of feet below the earth,
or fly as high as a cloud upon the Tusita sky,
wouldn’t it still be beside you, Young Master?

Moreover, when the cloud fills with a torrential rain,
I, Chunhyang, will certainly be there.

*The fifth of May celebrates Spring in the lunar calendar.

춘향유문—춘향의 말3/ 서정주

안녕히 계세요.
도련님.

지난 오월 단옷날, 처음 만나던 날
우리 둘이서, 그늘 밑에 서있던
그 무성하고 푸르던 나무같이
늘 안녕히 안녕히 계세요.

저승이 어딘지는 똑똑히 모르지만,
춘향의 사랑보단 오히려 더 먼
딴 나라는 아마 아닐 것입니다.

천 길 땅 밑을 검은 물로 흐르거나
도솔천의 하늘을 구름으로 날더라도
그건 결국 도련님 곁 아니예요?

더구나 그 구름이 소나기가 되어 퍼부을 때
춘향은 틀림없이 거기 있을 거예요.

Seo 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.

On the Day that Shines Again by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Hye Hyon

Chunhyang’s Words: Part Two,
On the Day that Shines Again by Seo Jung-ju

Spirit,
at first, my heart was like a wavering haze
on a day when thousands of skylarks sing;
It was like small clouds flying together
in the verdant river
where the fish with glittering scales swim.

Spirit,
but when you came one day in his shape,
I became a mad whirlwind.
I became a torrential rain,
a cascading waterfall from a cliff.

But Spirit,
like the ocean swallows a small creek,
you took him away again,
and left only an evening glow
burning in my empty heart.

Spirit,
another day shines upon me.
Now, the color of my heart,
blooming like bellflowers on the mountain,
is your love.

다시 밝은 날에—춘향의 말 2/서정주

신령님,
처음 내 마음은 수천만 마리
노고지리 우는 날의 아지랭이 같았습니다.
번쩍이는 비늘을 단 고기들이 헤엄치는
초록의 강 물결
어우러져 날으는 아기구름 같았습니다.

신령님,
그러나 그의 모습으로 어느 날 당신이 내게 오셨을 때
나는 미친 회오리바람이 되었습니다.
쏟아져 내리는 벼랑의 폭포,
쏟아져 내리는 소나기비가 되었습니다.

그러나 신령님,
바닷물이 작은 여울을 마시듯
당신이 다시 그를 데려가시고
그 훠-ㄴ한 내 마음에
마지막 타는 저녁 노을을 두셨습니다.

신령님,
그리하여 또 한번 내 위에 밝는 날
이제
산골에 피어나는 도라지꽃 같은
내 마음의 빛깔은 당신의 사랑입니다.

Seo 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.

Conversing while Swinging by Seo Jung-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Chunhyang’s Words: Part One,
Conversing while Swinging by Seo Jung-ju

Hyangdan, push the swing
toward the faraway sea
like you are pushing out a boat,
Hyangdan

Away from this gently swaying weeping willow
and a patch of wildflowers
that seem to be embroidered on my pillow cover,
away from these small butterflies and nightingales,
like you are pushing away forever,
Hyangdan

Push me up
toward that sky where there is no coral or isle.
Push me up like the colorful clouds.
Push up my heaving heart!
No matter what I do, I cannot travel
to the west like the moon.

Like the wind pushes up the waves,
push me up,
Hyangdan.

추천사(鞦韆詞) – 춘향의 말 1 /서정주

향단(香丹)아, 그넷줄을 밀어라.
머언 바다로
배를 내어 밀듯이,
향단아

이 다소곳이 흔들리는 수양버들 나무와
베갯모에 뇌이듯한 풀꽃더미로부터,
자잘한 나비새끼 꾀꼬리들로부터
아조 내어 밀듯이, 향단아

산호(珊瑚)도 섬도 없는 저 하늘로
나를 밀어올려다오.
채색(彩色)한 구름같이 나를 밀어올려다오
이 울렁이는 가슴을 밀어 올려 다오!
서(西)으로 가는 달 같이는
나는 아무래도 갈 수가 없다.

바람이 파도를 밀어 올리듯이
그렇게 나를 밀어올려다오.
향단아.

<서정주 시선> (정음사, 1956)

Seo 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.