The Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza by Lee Si-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

The Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza by Lee Si-young

The Argentinian Mothers’ Association of the May Plaza
is known to have adhered to three rules.
First, they will not dig up the bodies of their missing children;
second, they will not erect memorials to them;
third, they will not receive monetary rewards.
Because within their hearts their children have never died,
they cannot imprison the noble spirits of their children
within the cold stones, and they cannot take money
which would desecrate their children’s  souls
who have been either dead or missing
in their rebellion against injustice.

5월 어머니회/ 이시영

아르헨띠나의 ‘5월 어머니회’는 지금도 세 가지의 금도를
지킨다고 한다. 첫째로 실종된 자식들의 주검을 발굴하지 않으며,
둘째로 기념비를 세우지 않으며, 셋째로 금전보상을 받지 않는다.
왜냐하면 아이들은 아직 그들의 가슴속에서 결코 죽은 것이 아니며,
그들의 고귀한 정신을 절대로 차가운 돌 속에 가둘 수 없으며,
불의에 항거하다 죽거나 실종된 자식들의 영혼을 돈으로 모독할
수 없기 때문이다.

Lee Si-young (1949- ) was born in Gurye, Jeollanamdo. He studied creative writing at Seorabeol College of Arts. Since his literary debut in 1969, he has published poetry collections such as The Full Moon (1976), Into the Wind (1986), Friend, the Road Is Far (1988), The Song Dangling with Dew (1991), The Pattern (1994), The Gap (1996), The Quiet Blue Sky (1997), The Silver Whistle (2003), The Sea Lake (2004), The Aroma of Cow Dung(2005), and For Our Dead (2007). He has received many prestigious literary awards, including The Jung Ji-yong Literary Award (1996), The Dongseo Literary Award (1998), Modern Buddhist Literary Award (2004), The Jihoon Award (2004) and The Baeksok Literary Award (2004). For the last forty years, he has strived to write “poetry, resisting the reality and contradictions of the day.” He currently teaches creative writing at Dankuk University in Seoul.

A Song Dedicated to Gwangju by Kim Jun-tae

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Mangwol Cemetery in Gwangju

A Song Dedicated to Gwangju by Kim Jun-tae

In May, that year,
even the moon was bright in Gwangju, the City of Light
when the vampires rushed in like a  gang
in chartered Honam-line trains and helicopters
to turn the whole city into a ruin.

But in Gwangju,
even the moon was bright and full
when at every door, on every street
invaders like automatons
were running around, hungry for blood.

In May, that year
Gwangju was a vast sea,
a sea where seagulls were flying,
sails were rising,
waves were rolling
where islands were wailing like people.

In May, that year
Gwangju was a solitary cross
where slaughterers were laughing
till they became bright red while they were roasting a yellow dog,
where they took away priests and monks
and beat them up till their testicles burst.

In May, that year
Gwangju was a broken cross.
It was the Buddha’s naked body thrown away.
But in May, that year
Gwangju, the phoenix,
rose up again many times!

Ah, in May, that year
in Gwangju even the moon was bright.
People’s hearts ran like a river of water–
even the roadside trees put their arms around them,
all the people dancing in a circle, united in this new world.

Even when the devils armed with guns and bayonets
were poking everywhere as if crazy
and the whole city rolled like a barley field,
people cared for each other,
waved the flags of flesh and bone
along the road this land should follow.

Ah, in Gwangju, in May, that year
they knew the pleasure of living together–
joy was flapping like a sky, like a sky
where they rose up together again
even as they collapsed, dying.

광주에 바치는 노래/ 김준태

그해 5월
광주는 달도 밝았다
호남선 특별열차로
헬리콥터로 떼몰려온 흡혈귀들이
온 시가지를 쑥밭으로 만들 때

광주는 그러나
달도 둥그러이 밝았다
집집마다 거리마다
침략자와 같은 몽유병자들이
피에 굶주려 날뛸 때

그해 5월
광주는 끝없는 바다였다
갈매기가 날으고
돛이 오르고
파도가 나는 바다였다
섬, 섬들도 사람들로 울부짖는

그해 5월
광주는 고독한 십자가였다
학살자들이 황구(黃狗)를 그슬리며
시뻘겋게 웃을 때
신부와 스님들도 잡아가서
부랄이 깨져라고 두들겼을 때

그해 5월
광주는 부러진 십자가였다
발가벗겨 내팽개쳐진 부처의 알몸이었다
그러나 그해 5월
광주는 또 다시 볓 번이고
치솟아오르는 불사조!

아아, 그해 5월
광주는 달도 밝았다
사람들의 마음이 강물처럼 흐르고
길가의 가로수도 어깨동무 해주고
사람 세상 통일 세상 강강술래였다

총칼뿐인 악마들이
사방팔방 미친 듯이 들쑤셔도
온 시가지가 보리밭으로 출렁이고
사람들은 서로를 아껴주고
이 땅의 갈 길을 향하여
살과 뼈의 깃발을 흔들었다

아아, 그해 5월 광주는
함께 사는 즐거움이 있었다
함께 쓰러져 죽으면서도
함께 일어나 살고야 마는
하늘 같은 하늘 같은 펄럭임이 있었다

Kim Jun-tae (1949- ) was born in Haenam, Jeollanamdo. He studied German literature at Chosun University. He made his literary debut in 1969 with the publication of “Thrashing the Sesame” and other poems in The Poet. His poetry collections include Thrashing the SesameI Saw GodThe Rice Soup and HopeFire or Flower?, and Sword and Soil. He is known as the progressive poet of “Oh, Gwangju! The Cross of Our Nation!,” a poem of the Gwangju Uprising he published on June 2, 1980, in The Chonnam Daily; this poem has been acclaimed as the first poem that attempted to represent the uprising. He is a protest poet committed to writing about destroyed hometowns, national liberation, and the decolonization of culture.

Oh, Gwangju! The Cross of Our Nation! by Kim Jun-tae

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photo provided by the 5.18 Memorial Foundation

Oh, Gwangju! The Cross of Our Nation! by Kim Jun-tae

Oh, Gwangju! Mudeung Mountain!
Our city of eternal youth
that sheds blood tears
between deaths!

Where has our father gone?
Where has our mother collapsed?
Where has our Son died and been buried?
And, where does our Daughter lie dead,  her mouth gaping?
Where have our soul and spirit
gone, torn and broken into pieces?

Gwangju, which both God and birds have left!
Our blood-covered city
where decent people
are still alive, morning and evening,
collapsing, falling down, and rising again!
Ah, the phoenix, the phoenix, the phoenix
of the South Province full of wailing
that has tried to drive away death with death,
and to seek life with death!

When the sun and the moon nosedive
and all the mountain ridges
stand shamelessly high,
ah, the flag of liberty
that nobody can tear down
or take away!
The flag of humanity!
The flag, hardened with flesh and bones!

Oh, our city
where at times our songs, dreams, and love
roll like waves,
and at other times we are hidden in graves.
Oh, Gwangju, Gwangju
who carries the cross of this nation,
climbing over Mudeung Mountain,
and walks over the hill of Golgotha!
Oh, the son of God,
whose whole body is covered with wounds,
and who is the emblem of death!

Are we really quite dead?
unable to love this country any more,
unable to love our children any more?
Are we absolutely dead?

On Chungjangro, on Kumnamro,
At Hwajungdong, at Sansoodong, at Yongbongdong
At Jisandong, at Yangdong, at Kyerimdong,
And, and, and . . . .
Ah, the wind that blows over,
gobbling up our blood and flesh!
The hopeless flow of time!

Should we now
just collapse, fall, and cry?
Terrified of life, how should we
breathe a breath?

Oh, all those survive
lower their heads like sinners.
All those still alive have lost
spirit, and they find it difficult
even to face their rice bowls.
Afraid, they don’t know what to do.

(Dear, I was killed
while I was waiting for you,
waiting for you outside the door.
Why did they take away my life?
Though we lived in a rented room,
we were quite happy.
I wanted to live, loving you.
Oh, my dear!
But I was killed like this,
pregnant with a child of yours.
I am sorry, my dear!
They took away my life from me,
and I took away everything of yours,
your youth, your love,
your son, and all.
Oh, my dear! In the end,
did I kill you?)

Oh, Gwangju! Mudeung Mountain!
Our city of eternal youth
who breaks through deaths
and flutters the ends of white clothes!
The phoenix, the phoenix, the phoenix!
The son of God of this nation
who climbs up the hill of Golgotha again,
carrying the cross of this nation!

Jesus is said to have died once
and been resurrected,
and to live till this day or rather forever.
But our true love
that would die hundreds of deaths
and yet resurrects itself hundreds of times!
Our light, glory, and pain.
Now we will be revived ever more.
Now we become ever stronger.
Now we – ever more.

Oh, now we,
putting our shoulders to shoulders, bones to bones,
climb the Mudeung Mountain of this nation.
Oh, we rise up to the oddly blue sky
to kiss the sun and the moon.

Gwangju! Mudeung Mountain!
Oh, our eternal flag!
Our dream, our cross!
The city of youth that will get younger
as time goes by!
Now we are firmly united,
surely and surely,
we hold each other’s hands tight
and rise up.

아아 광주여! 우리 나라의 십자가여!/김준태

아아, 광주여 무등산이여
죽음과 죽음 사이에
피눈물을 흘리는
우리들의 영원한 청춘의 도시여

우리들의 아버지는 어디로 갔나
우리들의 어머니는 어디서 쓰러졌나
우리들의 아들은
어디에서 죽어 어디에 파묻혔나
우리들의 귀여운 딸은
또 어디에서 입을 벌린 채 누워 있나
우리들의 혼백은 또 어디에서
찢어져 산산이 조각나버렸나

하느님도 새떼들도
떠나가 버린 광주여
그러나 사람다운 사람들만이
아침 저녁으로 살아 남아
쓰러지고, 엎어지고, 다시 일어서는
우리들의 피투성이 도시여
죽음으로써 죽음을 물리치고
죽음으로써 삶을 찾으려 했던
아아 통곡뿐인 남도의
불사조여, 불사조여, 불사조여

해와 달이 곤두박질 치고
이 시대의 모든 산맥들이
엉터리로 우뚝 솟아 있을 때
그러나 그 누구도 찢을 수 없고
빼앗을 수 없는
아아, 자유의 깃발이여
인간의 깃발이여
살과 뼈로 응어리진 깃발이여

아아 우리들의 도시
우리들의 노래와 꿈과 사랑이
때로는 파도처럼 밀리고
때로는 무덤만 뒤집어쓸 망정
아아 광주여 광주여

이 나라의 십자가를 짊어지고
무등산을 넘어
골고다 언덕을 넘어가는
아아 온몸에 상처뿐인
죽음뿐인 하느님의 아들이여

정말 우리는 죽어 버렸나
더이상 이 나라를 사랑할 수 없이
더이상 우리들의 아이들을 사랑할 수 없이
죽어 버렸나
정말 우리들은 아주 죽어 버렸나

충장로에서 금남로에서
화정동에서 산수동에서 용봉동에서
지원동에서 양동에서 계림동에서
그리고 그리고 그리고 ……
아아 우리들의 피와 살덩이를
삼키고 불어오는 바람이여
속절없는 세월의 흐름이여

지금 우리들은 다만
쓰러지고 쓰러지고 울어야만 하는가
공포와 목숨 어떻게 숨을
쉬어야만 하는가

아아 살아남은 사람들은
모두가 죄인처럼 고개를 숙이고 있구나
살아남은 사람들은 모두가
넋을 잃고, 밥그릇조차 대하기
어렵구나 무섭구나
무서워서 어쩌지도 못하는구나

(여보, 당신을 기다리다가
문밖에 나가 당신을 기다리다가
나는 죽었어요……
왜 나의 목숨을 빼앗아 갔을까요
셋방살이 신세였지만
얼마나 우린 행복했어요
난 당신에게 잘해주고 싶었어요
아아 여보!
그런데 나는 당신의 아이를 밴 몸으로
이렇게 죽은 거예요, 여보!
미안해요, 여보!
나에게서 나의 목숨을 빼앗아 가고
나는 또 당신의 전부를
당신의 젊음 당신의 사랑
당신의 아들 당신의
아아 여보! 내가 결국
당신을 죽인 것인가요)

아아 광주여 무등산이여
죽음과 죽음을 뚫고 나아가
백의의 옷자락을 펄럭이는
우리들의 영원한 청춘의 도시여
불사조여 불사조여 불사조여
이 나라의 십자가를 짊어지고
골고다 언덕을 다시 넘어오는
이 나라의 하느님 아들이여

예수는 한 번 죽고
한 번 부활하여
오늘까지 아니 언제까지 산다던가
그러나 우리들은 몇백 번 죽고도
몇백 번을 부활할 우리들의 참사랑이여
우리들의 빛이여 영광이여 아픔이여
지금 우리들은 더욱 살아나는구나
지금 우리들은 더욱 튼튼하구나
지금 우리들은 더욱

아아, 지금 우리들은
어깨와 어깨, 뼈와 뼈만 맞대고
이 나라의 무등산을 오르는구나
아아 미치도록 푸르른 하늘을 올라
해와 달을 입맞추는구나

광주여 무등산이여
아아 우리들의 영원한 깃발이여
꿈이여 십자가여
세월이 흐르면 흐를 수록
더욱 젊어갈 청춘의 도시여
지금 우리들은 확실히
굳게 뭉쳐 있다 확실히
굳게 손잡고 일어선다


Kim Jun-tae (1949- ) was born in Haenam, Jeollanamdo. He studied German literature at Chosun University. He made his literary debut in 1969 with the publication of “Thrashing the Sesame” and other poems in The Poet. His poetry collections include Thrashing the Sesame, I Saw God, The Rice Soup and Hope, Fire or Flower?, and Sword and Soil. He is known as the progressive poet of “Oh, Gwangju! The Cross of Our Nation!,” a poem of the Gwangju Uprising he published on June 2, 1980, in The Chonnam Daily; this poem has been acclaimed as the first poem that attempted to represent the uprising. He is a protest poet committed to writing about destroyed hometowns, national liberation, and the decolonization of culture.

Massacre, Part II by Kim Nam-ju

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photo provided by the 5.18 Memorial Foundation

Massacre, Part II by Kim Nam-ju

It was a day in May.
It was a day in May, 1980.
It was a night in May, 1980, in Gwangju.

At midnight I saw
the police replaced by combat police.
At midnight I saw
the combat police replaced by the army.
At midnight I saw
American civilians leaving the city.
At midnight I saw
all the vehicles blocked, trying to enter the city.

Oh, what a dismal midnight it was!
Oh, what a deliberate midnight it was!

It was a day in May.
It was a day in May, 1980.
It was a day in May, 1980, in Gwangju.
At noon I saw
a troop of soldiers armed with bayonets.
At noon I saw
a troop of soldiers like an invasion by a foreign nation.
At noon I saw
a troop of soldiers like a plunderer of people.
At noon I saw
a troop of soldiers like an incarnation of the devil.

Oh, what a terrible noon it was!
Oh, what a malicious noon it was!

It was a day in May.
It was a day in May, 1980.
It was a night in May, 1980, in Gwangju.

At midnight
the city was a heart poked like a beehive.
At midnight
the street was a blood river running like lava.

At 1 o’clock
the wind stirred the blood-stained hair of a young, murdered woman.
At midnight
the night gorged itself on a child’s eyes, popped out like bullets.
At midnight
the slaughterers kept moving along the mountain of corpses.

Oh, what a horrible midnight it was!
Oh, what a calculated midnight of slaughtering it was!

It was a day in May.
It was a day in May, 1980.

At noon
the sky was a cloth of crimson blood.
At noon
on the streets every other house was crying.
Mudeung Mountain curled up her dress and hid her face.
At noon
the Youngsan River held her breath, and died.

Oh, not even the Guernica massacre was as ghastly as this one!
Oh, not even the devil’s plot was as calculated as this one!

학살2/ 김남주

오월 어느 날이었다
80년 오월 어느 날이었다
광주 80년 오월 어느 날 밤이었다

밤 12시 나는 보았다
경찰이 전투경찰로 교체되는 것을
밤 12시 나는 보았다
전투경찰이 군인으로 대체되는 것을
밤 12시 나는 보았다
미국 민간인들이 도시를 빠져나가는 것을
밤 12시 나는 보았다
도시로 들어오는 모든 차량들이 차단되는 것을

아 얼마나 음산한 밤 12시였던가
아 얼마나 계획적인 밤 12시였던가

오월 어느 날이었다
1980년 오월 어느 날이었다
광주 1980년 오월 어느 날 낮이었다
낮 12시 나는 보았다
총검으로 무장한 일단의 군인들을
낮 12시 나는 보았다
이민족의 침략과도 같은 일단의 군인들을
낮 12시 나는 보았다
민족의 약탈과도 같은 일군의 군인들을
낮 12시 나는 보았다
악마의 화신과도 같은 일단의 군인들을

아 얼마나 무서운 낮 12시였던가
아 얼마나 노골적인 낮 12시였던가

오월 어느 날이었다
1980년 오월 어느 날이었다
광주 1980년 오월 어느 날 밤이었다

밤 12시
도시는 벌집처럼 쑤셔놓은 심장이었다
밤 12시
거리는 용암처럼 흐르는 피의 강이었다
밤 1시
바람은 살해된 처녀의 피묻은 머리카락을 날리고
밤 12시
밤은 총알처럼 튀어나온 아이의 눈동자를 파먹고
밤 12시
학살자들은 끊임없이 어디론가 시체의 산을 옮기고 있었다

아 얼마나 끔찍한 밤 12시였던가
아 얼마나 조직적인 학살의 밤 12시였던가

오월 어느 날이었다
1980년 오월 어느 날 낮이었다

낮 12시
하늘은 핏빛의 붉은 천이었다
낮 12시
거리는 한 집 건너 울지 않는 집이 없었다
무등산은 그 옷자락을 말아올려 얼굴을 가려 버렸다
낮 12시
영산강은 그 호흡을 멈추고 숨을 거둬 버렸다

아 게르니카의 학살도 이리 처참하지는 않았으리
아 악마의 음모도 이리 치밀하지는 않았으리

Kim Nam-ju (1946-1994) was born in Haenam, Jeollanam-do and studied English at Chonnam National University. He is known as one of the major resistance poets in South Korea, leading the people’s movement in the 1970s and 80s that ultimately toppled the dictatorship in Korea. Because of his activism, he was imprisoned twice, for more than ten years in total. In prison where paper and pencil were not allowed, he wrote many poems on milk cartons with the nail he made by grinding a toothbrush. These poems were later published in two collected volumes of his prison poetry, The Sunlight on the Prison Bar. His poetry bears witness to the tyranny of dictatorship and the hardships of the oppressed. He published such poetry collections as Requiem, My Sword My Blood, One Fatherland, The Weapon of Love and In This Lovely World. He received the Yun Sang-won Literary Award in 1993 and the National Literary Award in 1994. His poems have also been memorialized by Korean activist, rock singer An Chi-hwan in his album entitled Remember.

Park Gwan-hyun by Ko Un

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Painted by Ha Sung-hub

Park Gwan-hyun by Ko Un

He himself lamented that his death came late.
But his death did come
when he had to die.
Three years after the Gwangju Uprising
he died in a prison,
not on Kunnam-ro Street,
Park Gwan-hyun, a son of Mudeung Mountain.
He ran
when the airborne martial troops
were crisscrossing Gwangju.
He hid himself
waiting for the time to fight,
and he ran again,
Park Gwan-hyun, President of the Student Government Council
at Chonnam National University.

He crossed to Dolsan in Yeosu
after the martial troops occupied Gwangju,
slaying their way into the city.
He missed the battle of Gwangju,
and went over to Amtaedo Island and Chorando Island in Mokpo.
And then in June that year
he ran to Seoul.
Park Gwan-hyun, a wanted man,
ran again in Seoul
just before his arrest.
He worked at a small factory
under the name of Park Gun-wook;
he hid himself there for one year and ten months
but was finally arrested.
In prison,
he fought and fought,
eating rice mixed with sunflower seeds,
but he died in the prison,
Park Gwan-hyun, thirty years old.

Park Gwan-hyun who shouted like a lion
on the night of May 10, 1980,
on the water fountain in front of Provincial Hall,
to tens of thousands citizens and students,
“My comrades, the reason we are having this torch parade
Is to make democracy bloom in this land
And to achieve national reunification.”
Even his body was taken away,
and there was no funeral for him.
He was buried in the red-clay mountain
Youngkwang, in his hometown.
Why did you go
on a moonlit night?
A moonlit night that is not ours yet,
a dawn that is not ours yet–
why did you go for good
on a moonlit dawn?

But Park Gwan-hyun,
whenever people are silent
and Mudeung Mountain shouts,
Park Gwan-hun rises
and comes to Kunnam-ro Street.
He comes to the stormy Kunnam-ro Street,

박관현/ 고은

그 자신은 그의 죽음을 늦었다고 슬퍼했다
그러나 그의 죽음은
그가 죽어야 할 때 죽은 것이다
그는 광주항쟁 3년이 지나
금남로 거리가 아니라
감옥에서 죽어나온 것이다
무등의 아들 박관현
그는 튀었다
계엄군 공수부대가
광주를 누비고 있는데
그는 숨어서
싸움의 때를 노리다가 또 튀었다
전남대총학생회장 박관현

그는 여수 돌산으로 건너갔다
계엄군이 학살로
광주를 점령한 뒤
그는 광주의 싸움을 놓쳐버리고
목포 암태도 초란도를 건너갔다가
그해 6월
서울로 튀었다
현상수배 주요인물 박관현
서울에서 체포 직전에
또 튀었다
영세공장 노동자로 일했다
이름은 박건욱
1년 10개월 동안 숨었다가
끝내 그는 체포되었다
나팔꽃씨 넣은 밥 먹으며
싸우고 싸우다가
감옥에서 죽어나온 것이다
나이 서른살 박관현

1980년 5월 10일 밥 도청앞 분수대에서
몇만 시민과 학도 앞에서
우리가 횃불대행진을 하는 것은
이 땅에 민주주의의 꽃을 피게 하고
민족통일을 이룩하자는 것입니다
하고 사자처럼 부르짖던 박관현
그의 주검조차 빼앗겨
장례식도 못 치르고
고향땅 영광 황토산에 묻혀버렸다
어쩌자고 님은
달밤에 가시었나
아직은 우리의 밤이 아닌 달밤
아직은 우리의 새벽이 아닌 새벽
어쩌자고 님은 달밤에
새벽에 영 가시었나

그러나 박관현
무등 있어
사람이 침묵하고
무등이 소리칠 때마다
박관현은 일어나
금남로에 온다
바람치는 금남로에 온다

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.

A Winter Letter, Part Six by Cha Jung-mee

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photography provided by the 5.18 Memorial Foundation

A Winter Letter, Part Six by Cha Jung-mee

In May when spring rain falls
I think of you on Kumnam-ro Street.
Like the bitter anger of that day,
the rainfall strikes—
and I receive it with my heart, my forehead, my whole body.
I think of you,
a robust young man of 22.
When the rain stops, the sky is high again,
and red pansies in front of Provincial Hall
bloom in groups
as in May of that year.
But when I recall you, fresh like green bamboo,
time flowing into oblivion doesn’t scare me.
You whom I picture in my heart
are not sorrowful.
Are you alive or dead?
Your father’s sighing
is not painful.
Alive, perhaps you must be somewhere in this land.
Soo-ok, your sister,
who wandered as if crazy, searching for you,
is today heading for Mangwol cemetery,
holding tear-like baby’s breath to her heart.
don’t ever leave this street,
even if you become a spirit floating
somewhere above Hak-dong District,
Chungjang-ro Street, or Daein-dong District.
You, the upright green bamboo,
living verdant on this street,
should watch–
the sighing that burdens the  ground
and the pain that breaks the heart
are not just rising from your father
who shared his blood with you,
and of your sister Soo-ok.

겨울 편지6/ 차정미

봄비 내리는 오월
금남로에서 너를 생각한다
그날의 사무친 원한이듯
때리는 빗발
가슴으로 이마로 온몸으로 받으며
22세의 푸른 청년
너를 생각한다
비가 개이면 하늘은 다시 높아지고
도청 앞 붉은 팬지꽃
그해 오월처럼
무리지어 피어나도,
청대처럼 풋풋한 너의 모습 그리면
망각으로 흐르는 세월이 무섭지 않다
가슴으로 그리는 너의 모습
슬픔이 아니다
죽었는가 살았는가
너의 아버지 한숨소리
아픔이 아니다
살아 하마 이 땅 어디에 있으리
널 찾아 미치듯 헤매던
너의 누나 수옥이
오늘은 눈물 같은 안개꽃 가슴에 안고
망월동 묘지로 간다
학동 충장로 대인동 어디
또도는 넋이 되어도
끝끝내 이 거리 떠나지 마라
땅 꺼지는 듯 한숨
가슴 찢어지는 아픔이
너에게 피를 나눠 준 너의 아버지,
너의 누나 수옥이 몫이 아님을
푸른 너
이 거리 푸르게 살아
지켜보아야 하리

Cha Jung-mee (1958- ) was born in Bosung, Jeollanamdo. She made her literary debut with her publication on The Sijo Literature in 1983.

Song of a Sister Donating Blood by Kim Hae-hwa

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photography provided by the 5.18 Memorial Foundation

Song of a Sister Donating Blood by Kim Hae-hwa

Beloved Brother,
on the afternoon when our city was screaming,
I ran near to you,
who had been shedding hot blood,
enough to make the green heart of May muddy,
and whose hot heart had been turning cold.
The university hospital that I visited
after passing the blood-filled streets
sloshed with our corpses and echoed our moans.

Brother, you have seen
the heart of the Youngsan River flowing out of my thin arm.
My dream is to be a good mother in the distant future
giving birth to a son and a daughter with clear eyes like the sky,
a son who defends the freedom of this land,
a daughter who loves the freedom of this land.
Brother, you have seen
the dream flowing out hot.

The gunshot sounds, sounds I hear even now!
Who, in whose name,
who, toward whose heart
has to shoot callously like that?

at the sunset street from which I turned blocking my ears,
at the street where youth withers,
Brother, I saw Mudeung Mountain.
I saw
its hot struggle.

누이의 헌혈가 / 김해화

사랑하는 오빠
사랑하는 조국의 총칼에 찢겨
오월 푸르름 한가운데가 질퍽이도록
뜨거운 피를 쏟으시다가
뜨겁던 가슴이 식어간다고
우리들의 도시가 외쳐대는 오후에
당신의 곁으로 달려갔어요
피어린 거리를 지나 찾아간
우리들의 주검과 신음으로 출렁대고 있었어요

오빠 보셨지요
제 가느란 팔목에서 흘러나가던 영산강의 마음
저의 꿈은 먼 훗날 착한 지어미
하늘처럼 눈이 맑은 아들 딸 낳아
이 땅의 자유를 지키는 아들이 되고
이 땅의 자유를 사랑하는 딸이 되게 하는 것
그 꿈도 식지 않고 흘러 나가는 것
오빠 보셨지요

지금도 들리는 총소리 총소리
누가 누구의 이름으로
누가 누구의 가슴을 향해
저렇듯 싸늘하게 총을 쏘아야 하나요

귀를 막고 돌아선 해지는 거리에서
젊음이 지는 거리에서
오빠 저는 무등산을 보았어요
뜨거운 산의
몸부림을 보았어요

Kim Hae-hwa (1957- ) was born in Seungju, Jeollanamdo. She is known as labor poet. Her poetry collections include The Worker’s Notebook.

I Reject Your Eulogies and Condolences by Im Dong-hwak

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photography provided by the 5.18 Memorial Foundation

I Reject Your Eulogies and Condolences by Im Dong-hwak

I reject your eulogies and condolences.
Though I did urinate, hiding in an attic closed on every side,
though I did hide myself, escaping from the city and martial law,
though I still feared random questionings and the sound of whistles late at night.

It was a time of animals or only those who roamed then understood.
Till the outrageous conditions of freedom are invalidated,
I reject the prayers of anyone secure with objective distance,
I reject an age that justifies your cunning and metamorphosis,
and the bunch of flowers you offer with white, blood-stained hands.
I reject eulogies written in a skillful, glib language.

Till the questions are clear,
questions about the abundant harvest of that fall,
highways, and the children’s grand park,
bargained for with the cost of precious deaths;
till you and I fully understand
violence cannot push away violence,
no, violence cannot drive away violence.

I reject all the modern histories you write,
the red tongues that justify your prejudices and cunning,
the ease, laziness, and languor
with which you stipulate that time was an age of peace,
the clear failure and cynicism, yours and mine,
and your offering of flowers and praises
that you shout, enforcing another sacrifice.

For my own sake, who won’t betray others and won’t be betrayed by others again,
and for the sake of those who repent honestly and are forgiven,
I reject your offering of flowers and your visit.
I watch your behavior and your violence.

너희들의 조사와 애도를 거부한다/ 임동확

너희들의 조사와 애도를 거부한다
사방이 막힌 다락방에 숨어 오줌을 누고
계엄령 내린 도시를 벗어나 은신했지만
여전히 불심검문과 늦은 밤의 호루라기 소리를

헤매 본 자만이 아는 짐승의 시간들
그 화난 자유의 조건이 무효화될 때까지
나는 객관의 거리를 확보한 자의 기도나
너의 교활함과 변신을 변호해 줄 세월과
피 묻은 흰 손으로 바치는 꽃 타래를 사절한다
능숙하고 매끄러운 문장의 조사를 거부한다

고귀한 죽음의 대가로 흥정한
그 가을 들판의 풍년과 고속도로
어린이대공원에 대한 의혹이 풀릴 때까지
폭력이 폭력을 밀어낼 수 있거나
폭력이 또한 폭력을 물리칠 수 없다는 것을
너와 내가 충분히 납득할 때까지

너희들이 써 나가는 모든 현대사 위에
너희들의 편견과 간교함을 변호하는 붉은 혓바닥
당대를 평화의 시대라고 규정하는
안일함과 권태와 식곤증에, 그리고
너와 나의 엄연한 패배와 냉소 위에
또다시 희생을 강요하며 목울대를 치는
너희들의 찬사와 헌화를 거부한다

다시금 배신하고 배신받지 않을 나를 위하여
그리고 정직하게 반성하고 용서받는 너를 위하여
내 너희들의 조화와 방문을 거부한다
내 너희들의 행동과 공격을 응시한다

Im Dong-hwak (1959- ) was born in Kwangsan, Jeollanamdo. He studied Korean literature at Chonnam National University and Sogang University. His poetry collections includeBurial PoemsA Notebook of Living DaysThe Road to Woonju TempleI Felt Love for the First Time, and I Was Here a Long Time Ago.

Who Would Say He Doesn’t Know the Day? By Koh Jung-hee

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Mangwol Cemetery in Gwangju

Who Would Say He Doesn’t Know the Day? By Koh Jung-hee

The spirit,
the spirit who sleeps at Mangwol cemetery!
My tears flow though the sky is blue;
my tears flow, for the flowers bloom on the mounds and fields.

Who would say he has forgotten the day?
Who would say he doesn’t know the day?
The spirit that revives from heart to heart,
stands high above these times of biting winds.

Azaleas paint all the mountains red,
the blood tears of that day dye the mounds and fields.
A mother, rubbing the flower-tears on her heart,
calls your name and weeps.

Freedom stays alive behind the history of sacrifice.
Though it disappears from this age, the flower of democracy will bloom.
As the wind of reunification blows on the road I left,
tears well up at the spring news of national liberation.

누가 그날을 모른다 말하리/ 고정희

망월동에 잠든 넋이여
하늘이 푸르러 눈물이 나네
산꽃 들꽃 피어나니 눈물이 나네

누가 그날을 잊었다 말하리
누가 그날을 모른다 말하리
가슴과 가슴에서 되살아나는 넋
칼바람 세월 속에 우뚝 솟은 너

진달래 온 산에 붉게 물들어
그날의 피눈물 산천에 물들어
꽃울음 가슴에 문지르는 어머니
그대 이름 호명하며 눈물이 나네

목숨 바친 역사 뒤에 자유는 남는 것
시대는 사라져도 민주꽃 만발하리
나 떠난 길 위에 통일의 바람 부니
겨레해방 봄소식 눈물이 나네

Koh Jung-hee (1948 – 1991) was born in Haenam, Jeollanam-do, and studied at Hanshin University. A passionate feminist, she often offered sharp criticism on modern Korean society, whether it was political oppression or gender inequality. In June, 1991, she died, swept up by a torrential rain, while climbing up the Snake Valley of Jiri Mountain, a mountain she loved a great deal and wrote about often. Known for resistance poetry, particularly based upon the Gwangju Uprising, as well as for lyric poems, she derived many of her poetic inspirations from Gwangju and Jeolla-do (often known as Nam-do). In her lifetime she published at least ten collections of poetry and received the Korean Literature Award in 1983.

That May by Kwak Je-gu

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Melanie Steyn

Photography by Jang Jae-wan

That May by Kwak Je-gu

I walk along the riverbank
where milk vetch blooms profusely.
Where have I seen him?
A man in familiar dress
is walking up against the river current—
in dyed, battered military pants
with an out-of-season winter parka.
A few purple milk vetch blooms pinned
to his backpack
flutter in the wind.
He looks around twenty-three years old.
In his gaunt face his eyes are shining,
and we are brothers though I don’t know where we may have met.
Carried on the wind that brushes our clothes,
we greet each other passionately with our eyes.
The wind that carries us keeps asking, did we find our love
that May or did we lose it in the end?
The petals of the milk vetch flowers rise up all together.
The flowers that fell that May,
have they perhaps risen again as small nameless wild grasses
somewhere on this riverside?
Having risen up, are they burning
the spring riverbank with their bodies?
Looking back, I can see the back of the man in the distance,
and only milk vetch flowers shine as if out of breath
along the rolling river current.

그 오월에/ 곽재구

자운영 흐드러진
강둑길 걷고 있으면
어디서 보았을까
낯익은 차림의 사내 하나
강물 줄기를 거슬러 올라간다
염색한 낡은 군복 바지에
철 지난 겨울 파커를 입고
등에 맨 배낭 위에
보랏빛 자운영 몇 송이 꽃혀
바람에 하늘거린다
스물 서넛 되었을까
야윈 얼굴에 눈빛이 빛나는데
어디서 만났는지 알지 못해도 우리는 한 형제
옷깃을 스치는 바람결에
뜨거운 눈인사를 한다
그 오월에 우리는 사랑을 찾았을까
끝내 잊었을까 되뇌이는 바람결에
우수수 자운영 꽃잎들이 일어서는데
그 오월에 진 꽃들은
다시 이 강변 어디에 이름도 모르는 조그만
풀잡맹이들로 피어났을까
피어나서 저렇듯 온몸으로 온몸으로 봄 강둑을
불태우고 있을까
돌아보면 저만치 사내의 뒷모습이 보이고
굽이치는 강물 줄기를 따라
자운영 꽃들만 숨가쁘게 빛나고

Kwak Je-gu (곽재구) was born in Gwangju in 1954. He studied Korean literature at Chonnam National University. He made his literary debut as a poet with “At Sapyung Station,” which won the Spring literary award organized by the Joongang Daily in 1982. From 1981 to 1987, he worked as a member of “May Poetry,” a group of creative writers deeply inspired by the Gwangju Uprising in 1980. His poetry collections include At Sapyung StationJeonjang-po ArirngKorean LoversA Song of Seoul and The Clear Current. He currently teaches creative writing at Suncheon National University. In 1996, he received the Dongseo Literary Award.