A Pair of Shoes in the Yard by Moon Tae-jun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Darcy Brandel

A Pair of Shoes in the Yard by Moon Tae-jun

I gaze at a pair of shoes in the darkening yard.
They resemble the fiddle head that Sister once dried
all day in the shade of the backyard.
The yard of weathered neck!
A powder case a woman used up
is the pair of shoes worn out
from carrying her body for a long time.
Ah, even at the end of the road
there is no transcending suffering.

뜨락 위 한 켤레 신발 / 문태준

어두워지는 뜨락 위 한 켤레 신발을 바라본다
언젠가 누이가 해종일 뒤뜰 그늘에 말리던 고사리 같다
굵은 모가지의 뜰!
다 쓴 여인네의 분첩
긴 세월 몸을 담아오느라 닳아진
한 켤레 신발이 었다
아, 길이 끝난 곳에서도 적멸은 없다

시집 – 맨발 (2004년 창비)

moontaejunphotoMoon 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).

1 thought on “A Pair of Shoes in the Yard by Moon Tae-jun

  1. Thank you for blogging, your page is a boon for a person that loves poetry and studies Korean! I wonder if 해종일 is a proper name?
    Also I’ve looked up in 한연불교대사전, it suggests calmness as a translation of 적멸, does it make sense for a poem?

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