Poetry by Lee Si-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Taebaek Mountain, Photography by Kim Kyung-sang

Poetry by Lee Si-young

Like an arrow that goes through air
and sticks to the target,
its whole body quivering.
If only my language
could go through the wind
and touch someone’s heart
and enter it deeply, shaking hard.
Like a seed fire,
or like the first song of love
made with the whole body.


화살 하나가 공중을 가르고 과녁에 박혀
전신을 떨듯이
나는 나의 언어가
바람 속을 뚫고 누군가의 가슴에 닿아
마구 떨리면서 깊어졌으면 좋겠다
아니 온몸의 사랑의 첫 발성처럼

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.

2 thoughts on “Poetry by Lee Si-young

  1. I have translated your poem in Tamil. Nice. Thank you.

    வளியினூடே ஏகும் அம்பாய்
    இலக்கைப் பற்றிக் கொண்ட
    அதன் சர்வமும் தவிக்கிறது.
    எம் மொழிமட்டுமே அவ்வளியினூடே
    ஊடுறுவி எவருடைய இதயத்தையேனும்
    தீண்டக்கூடுமாயின், அதன் ஆணிவேரையே
    ஆனமட்டும் ஆட்டிவைத்துவிடுமதை.
    கங்கின் விதை போன்றோ,
    முதற்காதல் கீதம் போன்றோ
    சர்வமாய் மலர்ந்து கிடப்பதேயது.


  2. Pingback: Poetry by Lee Si-young – their words

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