Prologue by Yun Dong-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

Photography by Choi Il-ryoung

Prologue by Yun Dong-ju

Until the day I die
I long to have no speck of shame
when I gaze up toward heaven,
so I have tormented myself,
even when the wind stirs the leaves.
With a heart that sings the stars,
I will love all dying things.
And I will walk the way
that has been given to me.

Tonight, again, the wind brushes the stars.

서시(序詩)/ 윤동주

죽는 날까지 하늘을 우러러
한 점 부끄럼이 없기를,
잎새에 이는 바람에도
나는 괴로워했다.
별을 노래하는 마음으로
모든 죽어 가는 것을 사랑해야지.
그리고 나한테 주어진 길을

오늘 밤에도 별이 바람에 스치운다.

“하늘과 바람과 별과 시” (정음사, 1948)

yundongjuphotoYun Dong-ju (1917 – 1945) was born in Longjing, Jiandao, in present-day northeastern China. He was known for lyric poetry as well as resistance poetry against Japanese colonialism.

7 thoughts on “Prologue by Yun Dong-ju

    • Hi Sukie,
      This is Jina, JP’s wife. I am sorry for the delay in responding. I just saw the request.
      JP’s colleagues and I are planning to publish these poems, and I am not sure how the copyright would work for your posting in the future.
      However, since they are not published yet, feel free to post them, but I would greatly appreciate if you link his site on your posting.

      Thank you very much!

  1. hi jina,

    thanks for the permission!
    i would like to post the poems with the source as:

    Translated by the late Dr. Chae-Pyong (“J.P.”) Song
    *Published with permission from Jina Song(?)

    please let me know if i need to make any changes.
    also let me know when the book is published.


    all the best,

  2. Prolog, Yun Dongju

    Do końca moich dni będę spoglądał w niebo,
    abym nie musiał się już wstydzić.
    W powiewie wiatru co ledwie kołysał listkami
    poznałem mękę oddychania.
    Pragnę o gwiazdach śpiewać i objąć miłością
    wszystkich, którzy odchodzą.
    Dalej kroczyć drogą, którą obdarzył mnie los.

    I znów tej nocy gwiazdy pieścił wiatr.

    translated into Polish by Choi Sung Eun, Beata Bogusz

  3. Thank you for this website on poetry with both the English translations and the korean! such a beautiful blog! I will read more from here!

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