“Pomegranate” and other poems by Kim Myeong-sun translated by Sean Jido Ahn

Chris Murray at PoetHead has published a handful of Korean translations by a blogger called Jido Ahn. sometime ago i recommended Jido contact Chris with poems by female Korean poets as i was sure Chris would be interested, seeing as she works so hard to bring to the fore as many excellent female poets as she can find. Jido’s translations are sensitive & stay very true to the Korean— i can attest to this as i have read the originals & armed with my Korean/English dictionary, looked over them 1. because i am an auto-didactic student of Korean Literature & 2. because Jido knows so many Korean poets that are unknown to me & this case is no exception. please enjoy these translations of a poet unknown to me until now, Kim Myeong-sun (김명순). please follow & support both Chris & Jido, they do some important work. thank you.

Poethead

Pomegranate

In autumn, even a tree sheds jewels on the street.
A deeply buried heart may be fetching like this.
Around this time,
A bird shall pilot the life of a fragrant tree,
Crossing the river with a seed in its beak,
Passing the field of silvergrass on a mountain.
My shallow roots,
Which were swayed by no more than rain and wind,
Have you ever borne a piece of ruby hot as blood?
Without a jewel to pass on to a bird or a wind,
I pass in front of a pomegranate tree.
Whether I love or hate,
Life merely flows.
Toward where is life—an initiation ceremony—leading to?
The heart too red to believe in an afterlife,
The heart pecked by the bird!

A Will

Joseon*, when I part from you,
Whether you knock me down by a creek
Or yank my blood in the field,
Abuse me more…

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. pseudonymous says:

    any theories on the bruised dude?

    1. not yet. first time reading her. i am sure it was someone she knew. she is an old poet, from Korea’s very sorrowful past & so was no stranger to hardship.

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