The Snow Path by Ko Un

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Hwang Moon-sung

Photography by Hwang Moon-sung

The Snow Path by Ko Un (1933- )

Now I am gazing
at the snow path that covers up what has passed.
After wandering through the whole winter,
I am gazing at this foreign territory.
The scene of snow
falls in my heart for the first time.
The world is at the edge of meditation,
a world covered with exuberant peace
no country that I have traveled has ever seen.
I am gazing at the invisible movements of all things.
What is the sky where the snow is falling?
Listening closely, through the falling snow,
I hear the grand earth’s confession.
I can hear for the first time.
My heart is the snow path outside,
and darkness within.
After wandering though this world of winter,
I have come now to guard the great quiet,
and, in front of the piling snow,
my heart is darkness.


이제 바라보노라.
지난 것이 다 덮여 있는 눈길을.
온 겨울을 떠돌고 와
여기 있는 낯선 지역을 바라보노라.
나의 마음속에 처음으로
눈 내리는 풍경.
세상은 지금 묵념의 가장자리
지나온 어느 나라에도 없었던
설레이는 평화로서 덮이노라.
바라보노라. 온갖 것의
보이지 않는 움직임을.
눈 내리는 하늘은 무엇인가.
내리는 눈 사이로
귀 귀울여 들리나니 대지의 고백.
나는 처음으로 귀를 가졌노라.
나의 마음은 밖에서는 눈길
안에서는 어둠이노라.
온 겨울의 누리를 떠돌다가
이제 와 위대한 적막을 지킴으로써
쌓이는 눈더미 앞에
나의 마음은 어둠이노라.

출전: “현대문학” (1958)

kounphotoKo Un was born in Kunsan, Jeollabuk-do in 1933. As a recipient of numerous literary awards, Ko Un is one of the most famous contemporary poets in Korea. Since his debut in Hyondae Munhak in 1958, he has since produced over 120 literary works, including novels and critical writings. In 2010 he completed Maninbo, a now 30-volume poetry collection that had been published in installments over a period of twenty three years.

2 thoughts on “The Snow Path by Ko Un

  1. JP,
    The poems and images you post on your blog are lovely. I hope you publish them in a book.

    Sheri Bauman, Ph.D.
    Director, Counseling and Mental Health Program
    University of Arizona
    P. O. Box 210069
    Tucson, AZ 85721-0069
    Phone: 520-626-7308
    Fax: 520-621-3821

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