Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
An Autumn Day by Lee Si-young
A dragonfly sat on the end of a persimmon branch
and dozed off all day.
Even with wind, it did not shake;
even with a cold rain smacking the branch,
it did not move over.
When I quietly approached it,
I was startled to see,
right there, it had arrived in Nirvana.
잠자리 한 마리가 감나무 가지 끝에 앉아
종일을 졸고 있다
바람이 불어도 흔들리지 않고
차가운 소나기가 가지를 후려쳐도
거기 그대로 그만 아슬히 입적하시었다
Lee Si-young (1949- ) was born in Gurye, Jeollanamdo. He studied creative writing at Seorabeol College of Arts. Since his literary debut in 1969, he has published poetry collections such as The Full Moon (1976), Into the Wind (1986), Friend, the Road Is Far (1988), The Song Dangling with Dew (1991), The Pattern (1994), The Gap (1996), The Quiet Blue Sky (1997), The Silver Whistle (2003), The Sea Lake (2004), The Aroma of Cow Dung(2005), and For Our Dead (2007). He has received many prestigious literary awards, including The Jung Ji-yong Literary Award (1996), The Dongseo Literary Award (1998), Modern Buddhist Literary Award (2004), The Jihoon Award (2004) and The Baeksok Literary Award (2004). For the last forty years, he has strived to write “poetry, resisting the reality and contradictions of the day.” He currently teaches creative writing at Dankuk University in Seoul.