Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel
In the Space the Flower Left by Moon Tae-jun
To think is to sit down on an empty chair
To sit down in an empty space the flowers left
To long is to sit down on an empty chair
To still leave it empty after sitting like red petals
Moon Tae-jun (1970-) has published four collections of poetry: Chattering Backyard (2000), Bare Foot (2004), Flatfish (2006), and Shadow’s Development (2008) as well as other essays and commentary. One of the most popular poets of the younger generation, Moon uses deceptively simple poetic language with profound lyricism, commenting on the struggle of daily life. Grounded in Buddhist philosophy, his poems speak with reverence for all forms of life and emphasize the necessity of emptying oneself. Moon is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Dongseo Literature Award (2004), the Midang Literature Award (2005), and the Sowol Poetry Award (2007).