The Road to Yeosu by Shin Byong-eun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kang Jang-won (Dolsan Bridge, Yeosu, Korea)

The Road to Yeosu by Shin Byong-eun

suddenly you may feel the world is too much;
you may feel you are the only one in the world.
When you shake your head in the dead-end alley,
and say, “No, this is not it. This is not it,”
come to Yeosu at once, lightly,
throwing away all the burdens in your heart.
To you who have run a long way,
the generous rolling sea
and the islands that resemble wind
will softly whisper–
what shakes is not the core;
what shakes lasts only for a moment.
Showing you that living can be so light at times,
she will make a seaweed soup
and relieve you of your tangled and knotted life.
knowing how lonely you were,
the smiling camellia, returning after the biting winter,
will untie her dress and rush to hold you.  

여수 가는 길/ 신병은

문득 세상살이 힘들 때가 있지
세상에 덜렁 혼자뿐이라고
아니다 아니다 이게 아니라고
막다른 골목에서 고개를 흔들 때
마음의 짐일랑 그대로 팽개치고
빈 몸 그대로 곧장 여수로 오시게
먼 길 달려온 자네에게
늘 넉넉하게 일렁이는 바다가
바람을 닮은 섬들이
흔들리는 것은 결코 중심은 아니라고
흔들리는 것은 잠시일 뿐이라고
넌지시 귀띔해 줄 걸세
때로는 사는 것이 얼마나 가벼운 거냐며
생미역 한 줄기 풀어
엉기고 맺힌 생을 해장시켜 줄 걸세
자네, 외로움이 얼마나 심했냐고
겨울 이기고 돌아온 동백꽃 웃음이
옷깃을 풀고 와락 안겨들 걸세

Shin Byong-eun (1955 – ) was born in Changnyong, Gyongsangnam-do. His poetry collections include Blades of Grass with Wind, Greeting the Vegetable Morning, The Sleep of Grasses on the Other Side of the River, How to Fire Wind, and The Scenery of Poems and Paintings. He was awarded the Jeonnam Poetry Award, the Yeosu Arts and Culture Award, and the Hanryo Literary Award. Currently he teaches at Yeosu Information Science High School and serves as a chairperson of Yeosu Branch of the Federation of Arts and Culture Organizations of Korea.

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