The Winter Tree by Lee Jae-mu

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Heo Hae-jung

The Winter Tree by Lee Jae-mu

When leaves were thick,
I couldn’t see clearly.
Even the sky was covered
and the area around my feet was dark.
The leaves fell when the frost descended.
With stems and branches only, I have endured
a time punctured with holes all over,
and have been stricken by wind.
Now I can see an old friend in the far off distance
and my good neighbor coming closer.
The winter tree is lonely and thus, strong.


이파리 무성할 때는
서로가 잘 뵈지 않더니
하늘조차 스스로 가려
발밑 어둡더니
서리 내려 잎 지고
바람 매 맞으며
숭숭 구멍 뚫린 한 세월
줄기와 가지로만 견뎌보자니
보이는구나, 저만큼 멀어진 친구
이만큼 가까워진 이웃
외로워서 단단한 겨울나무

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