I Remember by Choe Seung-ja

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy L. Brandel

Photography by Lee Sang-youp

I Remember by Choe Seung-ja

The road has disappeared
the road existed for sure
the road I ran on over and over

Time, where the road disappeared
is infested with darkness

(Shuttered-down shops
the shops of darkness with their lights out
where only invisible footsteps scurry)

The decade is disappearing
I don’t see the road yet
but I remember for sure
the road was there
the road I ran on over and over

나는 기억하고 있다

길이 없었다
분명 길이 있었는데
뛰고 뛰던 길이 있었는데

길 끊어진 시간 속에서
어둠만이 들끓고 있었다

(셔터가 내려진 상가
보이지 않는 발자국들만 저벅거리는
불 꺼진 어둠의 상가)

그 십여 년 고요히 끝나가고 있다
아직은 길이 보이지 않는다
그러나 분명 길이 있었음을
뛰고 뛰던 길이 있었음을
나는 기억하고 있다

(Originally published in The Gwangju News, March 2012)

Choe Seung-ja (1952- ) was born in Yongi, Chungcheongnam-do. She studied German literature at Korea University. Her poetry collections include Love in This Age, A Pleasant Diary, The House of Memory, My Grave—Green, Lovers, and Forlorn and Faraway. Often employing extreme, radical language and imagery, she writes to resist social discrimination, especially patriarchy.

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