The New Year’s Prayer by Kim Hyun-seung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Park Hye-sook

Photography by Park Hye-sook

The New Year’s Prayer by Kim Hyun-seung (1913-1975)

While living in these bodies,
no one can live against time.
Even in the flow of this new day,
let us cherish
the love and hope
you have given us, Your Grace.

Though our bodies age, our hearts are fresh;
Though time flows, we are renewed with purpose.
Let us flow stream by stream, this year too,
till we arrive in your wide bosom, the sea of life,
to be embraced.

Let the sound of the big drum
resound in the mountains and streams,
resplendent in the melody of this flow.


몸 되어 사는 동안
시간을 거스를 아무도 우리에겐 없사오니
새로운 날의 흐름 속에도
우리에게 주신 사랑과 희망-당신의 은총을
깊이깊이 간직하게 하소서

육체는 낡아지나 마음으로 새로웁고
시간은 흘러가도 목적으로 새로워지나이다
목숨의 바다-당신의 넓은 품에 닿아 안기우기까지
오는 해도 줄기줄기 흐르게 하소서

이 흐름의 노래 속에
빛나는 제목의 큰 북소리 산천에 울려퍼지게 하소서!

Kim Hyun-seung (1913-1975) was born and raised in Gwangju. He is known for sublimating his Christian imagination into poetry as in “The Prayer of Autumn.” He is also known for founding a literary journal, New Literature, in 1951. In the 1950s, he taught creative writing at Chosun University and mentored many great poets known around the country.

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