Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid
Bucket of Water by Kim Jong-sam
The organ music in the distance
is breaking up.
What have you done?
To that question, I respond:
I have searched for nothing other than humans
and carried a few buckets of water to them.
At the heart of the distant wilderness,
below the shallow sky
the bright sun shines,
except on the earth.
풍금 소리가 툭 툭 끊어지고
그 동안 무엇을 하였느냐는 물음에 대해
다름 아닌 인간을 찾아다니며
물 몇 통 길어다 준 일밖에 없다고
머나먼 광야의 한복판 얕은
시선집 『북 치는 소년』, 민음사
Kim Jong-sam (1921-1984) was born in Eunryul, Hwanghaedo, North Korea. He was known for short poems that use gaps and breaks. His poetry collections include The Poets’ School, The Drummer Boy, Someone Asked Me, and Live with a Loud Voice and Shout.