The Drummer Boy by Kim Jong-sam

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

The Drummer Boy by Kim Jong-sam

Like beauty without substance,

like a beautiful Christmas card
sent from a western country
to a poor child,

like sleet
glittering on the lambs’ backs

북 치는 소년/김종삼

내용 없는 아름다움처럼

가난한 아이에게 온
서양 나라에서 온
아름다운 크리스마스 카드처럼

어린양(羊)들의 등성이에 반짝이는
진눈깨비처럼

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’ SchoolThe Drummer BoySomeone Asked Me, and Live with a Loud Voice and Shout.