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.

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The Snowy Night by Moon Tae-jun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

moontaejunsnowannerashid

Photography by Anne Rashid

The Snowy Night by Moon Tae-jun

Oh, my lover
who had pure eyes;
oh, the silver scales
that occupied your eyes.
Tonight snow falls.
Oh, my poor lover
who wrapped my neck
with a white towel and washed my face,
a sacred quiet descends
upon the lonely planet.
I close my eyes
to remember the time
your hands washed my face.

눈 내리는 밤/ 문태준

말간 눈을 한
애인이여,
동공에 살던 은빛 비늘이여
오늘은 눈이 내린다
목에 하얀 수건을 둘러놓고 얼굴을 씻겨주던
가난한 애인이여,
외로운 천체에
성스러운 고요가 내린다
나는 눈을 감는다
손길이 나의 얼굴을 다 씻겨주는 시간을

moontaejunphotoMoon Tae-jun (1970-) has published four collections of poetry:Chattering Backyard (2000), Bare Foot (2004), Flatfish (2006), and Shadow’s Development (2008) as well as other essays and commentary. One of the most popular poets of the younger generation, Moon uses deceptively simple poetic language with profound lyricism, commenting on the struggle of daily life. Grounded in Buddhist philosophy, his poems speak with reverence for all forms of life and emphasize the necessity of emptying oneself. Moon is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Dongseo Literature Award (2004),  the Midang Literature Award (2005), and the Sowol Poetry Award (2007).

Winter. Snow. Tree. Forest by Ki Hyung-do

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by L. J. Sladek

Winter. Snow. Tree. Forest by Ki Hyung-do (1960-1989)

The snow
piles up here and there,
without being able to get all the way out of the forest.

“Is it you?
Don’t hurry.”
Thump. He falls down,
hit by a sharp blade.

I return home,
dragging the tree.
As I trim off the twigs,
I listen to the silence of the tree:
“I am here.
Death is unmasked life.
Our lives, our winters are like that, too.”

We kindle fire
toward the pain
that resembles ourselves.
The night in the forest beyond the window
tosses its body for a deeper quiet.

Till I confirm my clean death
I will be absent,
keeping a beautiful distance from whoever sparks a flame,
and warming my heart little by little.

The morning rising in the late winter
is what comes to make the most perfect nature.
Afterward,
against the direction the snow melts and flows
our spring will come.

겨울·눈(雪)·나무·숲/기형도

눈(雪)은
숲을 다 빠져나가지 못하고
여기 저기 쌓여 있다.

“자네인가,
서둘지 말아.”
쿵, 그가 쓰러진다.
날카로운 날(刀)을 받으며.

나는 나무를 끌고
집으로 돌아온다.
홀로 잔가지를 치며
나무의 沈默을 듣는다.
“나는 여기 있다.
죽음이란
假面을 벗은 삶인 것.
우리도, 우리의 겨울도 그와 같은 것.”

우리는
서로 닮은 아픔을 向하여
불을 지피었다.
窓너머 숲 속의 밤은
더욱 깊은 고요를 위하여 몸을 뒤채인다.

내 淸潔한 죽음을 確認할 때까지
나는 不在할 것이다
타오르는 그와 아름다운 距離를 두고
그래, 心臟을 조금씩 덥혀가면서.

늦겨울 태어나는 아침은
가장 完璧한 自然을 만들기 위하여 오는 것.
그 後에
눈 녹아 흐르는 방향을 거슬러
우리의 봄은 다가오고 있는 것이다.

Sleet by Ki Hyung-do

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Kim Jaegon

Photography by Kim Jaegon

Sleet by Ki Hyung-do (1960-1989)

Sleet flutters around.
Frozen hands are tucked inside overcoat pockets.
This snow may tramp over streets
that I don’t know
and wander around offices and buildings I have never seen.
A rectangular, document envelope falls on the snow-covered road.
As I stoop down, I think back to when I graduated from college and made many resolutions.
The sleet falls. Don’t be afraid, you capricious feet.
I have read about such a route home in a novel.
Underneath these shoe soles, my recollected memories have often been trampled.
In a dark alley an empty truck stops, with its light on.
Drunken young men fall over. It occurs to me: in my youth,
when the sleet fell, I rode the bus all day long.
Gathering around the old, white wall, people shake off the sleet.
The sleet pours down. Suddenly, tears run. It isn’t because I am unfortunate.
I have finished all the experiences one would experience in life. Sleet.

진눈깨비/기형도

때마침 진눈깨비 흩날린다
코트 주머니 속에는 딱딱한 손이 들어 있다
저 눈발은 내가 모르는 거리를 저벅거리며
여태껏 내가 한번도 본 적이 없는
사내들과 건물들 사이를 헤맬 것이다
눈길 위로 사각의 서류 봉투가 떨어진다, 허리를 나는 굽히다말고
생각한다, 대학을 졸업하면서 참 많은 각오를 했었다
내린다 진눈깨비, 놀랄 것 없다, 변덕이 심한 다리여
이런 귀가길은 어떤 소설에선가 읽은 적이 있다
구두 밑창으로 여러 번 불러낸 추억들이 밟히고
어두운 골목길엔 불켜진 빈 트럭이 정거해 있다
취한 사내들이 쓰러진다, 생각난다 진눈깨비 뿌리던 날
하루종일 버스를 탔던 어린 시절이 있었다
낡고 흰 담벼락 근처에 모여 사람들이 눈을 턴다
진눈깨비 쏟아진다, 갑자기 눈물이 흐른다, 나는 불행하다
이런 것이 아니었다, 나는 일생 몫의 경험을 다했다, 진눈깨비

출처: 시집 『입속의 검은 잎』(문학과지성사, 1994년)

기형도는 1960년 인천에서 태어나 1989년에 작고했다 1985년 동아일보 신춘문예를 통해 등단했으며 중앙일보 기자를 역임했다. 윤동주 문학상을 받았으며 시집에 『입속의 검은 잎』이 있다.

Natasha, the White Donkey, and Me by Baek Seok

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Bas Meelker

Photography by Bas Meelker

Natasha, the White Donkey, and Me by Baek Seok (1912-1963)

Tonight the snow falls endlessly
because I, a poor man,
love the beautiful Natasha.

I love Natasha,
the snow falls endlessly,
and I sit alone, drinking rice wine.
Drinking rice wine, I think:

the night the snow falls endlessly
I would like to ride, with Natasha, upon a white donkey
to a remote, mournful mountain village and live in a cottage.

The snow falls endlessly.
I love Natasha.
Natasha must be coming.
She has already come in quietly and tells me:
“You throw away such a thing as the world because it’s muddled,
but going to a remote mountain doesn’t mean you lose it all.”

The snow falls endlessly,
the beautiful Natasha will love me,
and somewhere the white donkey, too, will cry out,
delighted with tonight.

나와 나타샤와 흰 당나귀/백석

가난한 내가
아름다운 나타샤를 사랑해서
오늘밤은 푹푹 눈이 나린다

나타샤를 사랑은 하고
눈은 푹푹 날리고
나는 혼자 쓸쓸히 앉어 소주(燒酒)를 마신다
소주(燒酒)를 마시며 생각한다
나타샤와 나는
눈이 푹푹 쌓이는 밤 흰 당나귀 타고
산골로 가자 출출이 우는 깊은 산골로 가 마가리에 살자

눈은 푹푹 나리고
나는 나타샤를 생각하고
나타샤가 아니올 리 없다
언제 벌써 내 속에 고조곤히 와 이야기한다
산골로 가는 것은 세상한테 지는 것이 아니다
세상 같은 건 더러워 버리는 것이다

눈은 푹푹 나리고
아름다운 나타샤는 나를 사랑하고
어데서 흰 당나귀도 오늘밤이 좋아서 응앙응앙 울을 것이다

After the Snowfall by Lee Hang-bok

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Kang Jang-won

Painted by Kang Jang-won

After the Snowfall by Lee Hang-bok (1556-1618)

After the snowfall, the twig gate is closed till late.
At midday, there is no human path on the bridge over the brook.
Hot air rises up in thick clouds from a brazier.
Alone, I roast and eat big, mountain chestnuts.

눈 내린 뒤/이항복

눈 내린 뒤 사립은 늦도록 닫혀 있고
개울물 다리는 한낮에도 인적이 없네
화로에서 모락모락 피어나는 뜨거운 기운들
알 굵은 산밤을 혼자서 구워 먹네

Cottony Snowflakes by Choi Don-sun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Kim Jaegon

Photography by Kim Jaegon

Cottony Snowflakes by Choi Don-sun

It would be wonderful
to have cottony snowflakes all the time.
Puppy-like,
I would like to be a child again.
It would be wonderful
to leave without any purpose,
passing through the long winter trees.
It would be wonderful
to become white footsteps,
alone, like that.

It would be wonderful
to have a loved one—the one everybody loves–
standing at the far end of the winter,
to greet me.
It would be wonderful
to laugh hearty laughs,
patting one another’s lean backs.
It would be wonderful
to laugh hearty laughs
like these cottony snowflakes.

Wonderful–
it would be wonderful.
I once felt so painful,
I once felt so sorrowful,
I once felt so poor.

It would be wonderful
to have the cottony snowflakes, pouring down endlessly,
erasing all of this into white.
So
foolish,

but how wonderful it would be to become a white snowman.

함박눈—최돈선

아무 때나
함박눈이 왔음 좋겠다.
그래서 강아지처럼
철부지가 되었음 좋겠다.
아무 뜻 없이
긴 겨울나무 사이로 떠났으면 좋겠다.
그렇게 홀로
하얀 발자국이었으면 좋겠다.

사랑하는 사람
모두 사랑하는 사람
저 먼 겨울 끝에 서서
나를 반겨주었으면 좋겠다.
서로 서로 야윈 등 두드리며
함빡 웃어봤음 좋겠다.
펑펑 함박눈처럼 웃어봤음 좋겠다.

그래
그랬으면 좋겠다.
너무 아파
너무 슬퍼
너무 가난해

이 모든 것
함박눈 펑펑 내려
하얗게 하얗게 지워졌음 좋겠다.
천치같이
그런,

하얀 눈사람이었으면 좋겠다.