Flowers of a Moment: Poem 174

길을 잃었다 가도 가도 그냥 모래뿐이었다
고비 사막이었다
반가워라
모래에 묻혔다 나온 백골

장차 내 백골 따위
어디쯤에서
뒷세상의 길이 될까

가슴이 두근두근 오아시스가 가까웠다

-고은

I was lost – an endless ocean of sand no matter where I went
the Gobi Desert
embrace it
buried in the sand – a skeleton appeared

soon it would be my skeleton like that
somewhere
possibly on the road to the next world

my heart pounded for an oasis was near

-Ko Un

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In December I gave the copy of Flowers of a Moment that I was translating as a thank-you gift to the kind woman who was my medical translator during the preoperative appointments for my eye muscle surgery.  She was also with me on the day of the surgery.  I will always be extremely grateful to her for all of her help.

Needless to say, for some strange reason, I never purchased a new copy of the book, so I was unable to finish the translation project.  This week I finally obtained a new copy and plan to finish the translation by the end of June.

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야곡/Nocturne

난 시골에서 구부러진 길을 걸으면서
낡고 황폐한 교회를 만났다

수 년 전에 멍든 하늘 아래에
비참한 그 건물은 빛에 속았다.

…나처럼

While walking along a crooked road in the countryside,
I came across an old and dilapidated church.

Many years ago, under a bruised sky, that wretched
building was deceived by the light.

…just like me

기다림/Waiting

난 라디오 음악에 맞춰 노래하면서 손가락으로
헝클어진 머리를 빗는다.
먼 곳에 천둥소리가 다시 들린다
꽃들은 이야기를 그만뒀다.

이제…비가 온다.

I comb my tangled hair with my fingers
while singing along to the radio.
Again, thunder is heard in the distance.
The flowers have ceased talking.

Now…the rain comes.

 

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 157

시베리아 혹한만을 말하지 말자
시베리아 폭염 속
썩어버린 잉어가시 하얗게 빛나더라

-고은

 

Let’s not speak only of Siberia’s bitter cold.
Inside of a Siberian heat wave
bones of rotten carp gleamed white.

-Ko Un

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Unfortunately, I fell behind on my Ko Un translation project this week due to my eye surgey; I hope to finish the book by the end of next week.  This is poem 157 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 145

첫 빗방울
툭 떨어지며 후박나무 잎사귀
깨어난다
이어서
이 잎사귀도
저 잎사귀도

-고은

when the first raindrops fall
silver magnolia leaves awaken
one at a time
this leaf
and that leaf too

-Ko Un

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This is poem 145 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.

 

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 109

구름 속 보름달이 나타난다
도둑놈이 화들짝 놀라 달아난다
개들이 놀라 짖어댄다

-고은

from behind a cloud, the full moon emerges
a thief is frightened away
startled dogs howl

-Ko Un

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This is poem 109 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.

자비/mercy

연보라색 나비가 마비된다
자비의 순간이 언제 올거야?

a lilac butterfly becomes paralyzed
when will mercy’s moment come?

 

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In Korean the words for butterfly, mercy, and paralysis rhyme.  I wrote this short poem to serve as a memorization aid for those three words.

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 83

저쪽 언덕에서
소가 비 맞고 서 있다

이쪽 처마 밑에서
나는 비가 그치기를 가다리고 있다

둘은 한참 뒤 서로 눈길을 피하였다

-고은

there on the slope
a cow stands being rained on

here under the eaves
I’m waiting for the rain to stop

after a while we avoided each other’s gaze

-Ko Un

———————————–

This is poem 83 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.

 

 

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 70

달걀 밖 어미닭
달걀 속 병아리
그들은 온통 한 몸이라네

-고은

outside the egg is a hen
inside the egg is a chick
they are entirely one body

-Ko Un

———————————-

This is poem 70 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.

I must admit that some of the poems that I worked on this morning proved to be quite a challenge.

Flowers of a Moment: Poem 49

초등학교 유리창마다
석양이 빛나고 있다

그 유리창 하나하나가 실컷 신들이었다

-고은

 

the setting sun shines through
each elementary school window

every one of those windows was an illimitable god

-Ko Un

 

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This is poem 49 from Flowers of a Moment, which is a small volume of poetry by Korean author Ko Un that I am currently translating into English.