The Gnarled Tree by Shin Byong-eun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kang Jang-won

The Gnarled Tree by Shin Byong-eun

To become wholly a part of you is to harden

the white wind that has stormed together, shaken the core,

and slipped through the top of my head.

To build a strong house on the edge of the wind

is part of the scar I must never forget.

옹이/ 신병은

진정으로 그대의 한 부분이 되는 일은 오랜 세월 떼

지어 다니며 중심을 흔들다 정수리를 빠져나간 하얀 바람

소리를 다지는 일이다

잊어서는 안 될 상처의 한 부분을 위해 그 바람의

기슭에 단단한 집을 짓는 일이다

Shin Byong-eun (1955 – ) was born in Changnyong, Gyongsangnam-do. His poetry collections include Blades of Grass with WindGreeting the Vegetable MorningThe Sleep of Grasses on the Other Side of the RiverHow 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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