Climbing Over Jirisan Mountain by Kim Jun-tae

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Lee Gye-du

Climbing Over Jirisan Mountain by Kim Jun-tae

I need to talk to the clouds.
I need to talk to the wind.
I need to talk to the stepping stones by the stream.
I need to talk to the trees.
I need to talk to the cigarette butts.
Even though my words may, absurdly,
become clouds or wind,
or shake as trees at the end of December,
or fly away as sleepless birds,
or even if they become cigarette butts
that one throws away without any thought,
I need to name my words,
like the water in a kettle that overflows when it boils,
I need to scatter all of my words
over every corner of the world.
In fact, my words are their words;
my songs are their songs.

智異山을 넘으며/ 김준태

나는 구름에게 말해야 한다
나는 바람에게 말해야 한다
나는 시냇가 디딤돌에게 말해야 한다
나는 나무에게 말해야 한다
나는 담배꽁초에게 말해야 한다
내가 한 말이 어처구니 없이
구름이 되거나 바람이 되거나
저무는 12월 나무로 흔들리거나
혹은 불면의 새로 날아가버릴망정
무심코 던져버리는 담배꽁초가 될망정
나는 나의 말에게 이름을 붙여주어야 한다
주전자에 물이 끓으면 넘치듯이
그렇게 그렇게 나의 모오든 말을
세상 곳곳에 뿌려주어야 한다
사실은 그들의 말인 나의 말을
사실은 그들의 노래인 나의 노래를.

Jirisan Mountain is located in the southern region of South Korea, spanning three provinces: North and South Jeolla, as well as Gyeongsang. Throughout Korean history, the mountain has taken up a variety of different meanings, reflecting many writers’ desires and needs of different moments in time. For some Korean writers, Jirisan Mountain is a tragic figure of tumultuous modern Korean history. For others, it has been a figure of the magical, the sacred, the abundant, and the motherly.  For others, Jirisan Mountain has been metaphorized as a mountain of the people and resistance, but also as a mountain of death and resentment, where fierce battles were fought between the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War, slaughtering many Koreans. And still yet, for others, the mountain is a space of life and hope that renews the lives of today and tomorrow.

Spring of Jirisan Mountain: Part Four –Climbing Over the Rocky Plateau by Koh Jung-hee

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Yun Ju-ok

Spring of Jirisan Mountain: Part Four
–Climbing Over the Rocky Plateau
by Koh Jung-hee

Beautiful they are—
azaleas rolling over the Rocky Plateau.
Giddy is the pink river water
that flows like shimmering fresh blood.
Washing off the sweat flowing from my forehead,
I look down upon the ridges beneath my feet,
and wonder, where does history flow?
The longing gathering on the mountaintop is getting greener,
and the wind of Moojin Field* is weeping in a choked voice
in the forest of dried-up trees silenced, like Heaven’s punishment.
Again I have to climb over that ridge
following the winding, uphill road.
I have to climb, treading with my whole body
the ridges of death that lie quietly face down.
I have to climb over those ridges of despair,
holding a knife against that world,
but keeping the longing within that paints the western sky.
Beyond this desolate life,
beyond this gushing love,
I should arrive at the field of Home filled with wild milk-vetch,
listening to that ice-covered mountain breaking up
that nobody can tread upon.
Tearful they make me—
azaleas rolling over the Rocky Plateau.
Giddy is the pink river water
that flows like shimmering fresh blood.

*A former term for the region of Gwangju

지리산의봄 4–세석고원을넘으며고정희

아름다워라
세석고원 구릉에 파도치는 철쭉꽃
선혈이 반짝이듯 흘러가는
분홍강물 어지러워라
이마에 흐르는 땀을 씻고
발 아래 산맥들을 굽어보노라면
역사는 어디로 흘러가는가,
산머리에 어리는 기다림이 푸르러
천벌처럼 적막한 고사목 숲에서
무진벌 들바람이 목메어 울고 있다
나는 다시 구불거리고 힘겨운 길을 따라
저 능선을 넘어가야 한다
고요하게 엎드린 죽음의 산맥들을
온몸으로 밟으며 넘어가야 한다
이 세상으로부터 칼을 품고, 그러나
서천을 물들이는 그리움으로
저 절망의 능선들을 넘어가야 한다
막막한 생애를 넘어
용솟는 사랑을 넘어
아무도 들어가지 못하는 저 빙산에
쩍쩍 금가는 소리 들으며
자운영꽃 가득한 고향의 들판에 당도해야 한다
눈물겨워라
세석고원 구릉에 파도치는 철쭉꽃
선혈이 반짝이듯 흘러가는
분홍강물 어지러워라

Jirisan Mountain is located in the southern region of South Korea, spanning three provinces: North and South Jeolla, as well as Gyeongsang. Throughout Korean history, the mountain has taken up a variety of different meanings, reflecting many writers’ desires and needs of different moments in time. For some Korean writers, Jirisan Mountain is a tragic figure of tumultuous modern Korean history. For others, it has been a figure of the magical, the sacred, the abundant, and the motherly.  For others, Jirisan Mountain has been metaphorized as a mountain of the people and resistance, but also as a mountain of death and resentment, where fierce battles were fought between the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War, slaughtering many Koreans. And still yet, for others, the mountain is a space of life and hope that renews the lives of today and tomorrow.

The Sea of Clouds in Jiri Mountain by Bok Hyo-geun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Jiri Mountain; photography by Park Hwan-yun

The Sea of Clouds in Jiri Mountain by Bok Hyo-geun

Again Mother
appears to make a blanket,
spreading the new cotton wide.

Throughout the autumn she collects the cotton
from the upper field of the mountain ridge.

Mother remembers
how she sent out the first, the second, the third,
without even a patch of farmland to pass along,
without even a worn-out spoon.

At dawn,
the frosty wind is still chilly.

With new blankets,
she wishes for sweet dreams
for her sons and daughters,
and for all the offspring in this world
till the world gets warm
with the generous morning sunlight.

Mother of Jiri Mountain
hangs up the new cotton,
standing alone like an island.

지리산 운해/ 복효근

어머니는 또
햇솜을 저리 넓게 펴 놓으시고
이불을 지으려나보다

가으내 산마루 별밭에서
목화를 따시더니

묶어보낸 전답 하나 없이
닳아진 숟가락 하나 없이
제금 내보낸 첫째 둘째 셋째…

아직 새벽
서리 바람 차운데

넉넉한 아침 햇살 잘 펴져서
세상일 따뜻해질 때까지
내 딸 내 새끼 이 세상 모든 짐승 새끼들도
새 이불 펴 덮고 꽃잠 자라고

지리산 어머니
섬처럼 홀로 서서
햇솜을 펴 널고 계신다

Jiri Mountain is located in the southern region of South Korea, spanning three provinces: North and South Jeolla, as well as Gyeongsang. Throughout Korean history, the mountain has taken up a variety of different meanings, reflecting many writers’ desires and needs of different moments in time. For some Korean writers, Jiri Mountain is a tragic figure of tumultuous modern Korean history. For others, it has been a figure of the magical, the sacred, the abundant, and the motherly.  For others, Jiri Mountain has been metaphorized as a mountain of the people and resistance, but also as a mountain of death and resentment, where fierce battles were fought between the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War, slaughtering many Koreans. And still yet, for others, the mountain is a space of life and hope that renews the lives of today and tomorrow.

The Moonrise Hill by Lee Sung-bu

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Jiri Mountain; Photography by Ha Sung-mok

The Moonrise Hill by Lee Sung-bu

The moon that rises over Jiri Mountain
doesn’t illuminate grass and trees and roads,
but she shines upon the traces of tears
that won’t come off from inside people’s hearts.
The stars of early autumn look closer
and the sky is a deep blue mirror.
The hearts touched by this moonlight
have disappeared in a row, intermittently,
into the mountain’s shadow, and today,
even the ghosts have stopped their wandering and shouting
and pass between shadows, dropping their heads.
I only glimpsed the moon that rises over the hill–
a moon that has seen me in the midst of quiet and yet has not spoken–
and I have collapsed on the grass to catch my breath.
Every time brightness and shadow rustle together,
I hear lost love, sorrow, and anger
rushing in again.

달뜨기재/ 이성부

지리산에 뜨는 달은
풀과 나무과 길을 비추는 것이 아니라
사람들 마음속 지워지지 않는
눈물자국을 비춘다
초가을 별들도 더욱 가까워서
하늘이 온통 시퍼런 거울이다
이 달빛이 묻은 마음들은
한줄로 띄엄띄엄 산그림자 속으로 사라지고
귀신들도 오늘은 떠돌며 소리치는 것을 멈추어
그림자 사이로 고개 숙이며 간다
고요함 속에서 나를 보고도 말 걸지 않는
고개에 솟는 달 잠깐 쳐다보았을 뿐
풀섶에 주저앉아 가쁜 숨을 고른다
밝음과 그림자가 함께 흔들릴 때마다
잃어버린 사랑이나 슬픔 노여움 따위가
새로 밀려오는 소리를 듣는다

*달뜨기재 지리산 동쪽 웅석봉과 연결된 산줄기의 고개 이름

Jiri Mountain is located in the southern region of South Korea, spanning three provinces: North and South Jeolla, as well as Gyeongsang. Throughout Korean history, the mountain has taken up a variety of different meanings, reflecting many writers’ desires and needs of different moments in time. For some Korean writers, Jiri Mountain is a tragic figure of tumultuous modern Korean history. For others, it has been a figure of the magical, the sacred, the abundant, and the motherly.  For others, Jiri Mountain has been metaphorized as a mountain of the people and resistance, but also as a mountain of death and resentment, where fierce battles were fought between the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War, slaughtering many Koreans. And still yet, for others, the mountain is a space of life and hope that renews the lives of today and tomorrow.

Persimmons of Jiri Mountain by Heo Su-kyung

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Jiri Mountain; photography by Ha Sung-mok

 

Persimmons of Jiri Mountain by Heo Su-kyung

With the wind of late autumn,
drenched persimmons fall.
The blue ridge of Jiri Mountain fades into white,
covering the husbands’ corpses,
What a red day,
on the very top branch
of the persimmon tree on Jiri Mountain?
Why are they stuck on the frozen sky, shuddering?–
like the kids who end up wearing dry tears
in the corners of their eyes
as they work through their constipation,
like the husbands who spit out persimmon seeds
and disappeared into the fading sunset
glowing with flocks of geese,
who cannot plead their guilt or ask for forgiveness.
With every footstep, anyone who walks
through the modern history of Korea
passes through a storm of white persimmon flowers.

지리산 감나무/ 허수경

늦가을 바람녘
비 맞은 감이 지네.
남정들 썩은 삭신을 덮고
허옇게 허옇게 지리산 청마루도 흐려지는데
지리산 감나무 맨 윗가지
무신 날이 저리 붉은가.
얼어 붙은 하늘에 꽉 백혀 진저리치고 있는가.
된 똥 누다누다
눈꼬리에 마른 눈물 달은 자식들처럼
감씨 퉤 퉤 뱉다 기러기떼
선연한 노을 끝으로 숨어버린 남정들처럼
잘못도 용서도 구할 수 없는
한반도 근대사 속을
사람 지나간 자취마다 하얗게 쏟아지는
감꽃폭풍.

Jiri Mountain is located in the southern region of South Korea, spanning three provinces: North and South Jeolla, as well as Gyeongsang. Throughout Korean history, the mountain has taken up a variety of different meanings, reflecting many writers’ desires and needs of different moments in time. For some Korean writers, Jiri Mountain is a tragic figure of tumultuous modern Korean history. For others, it has been a figure of the magical, the sacred, the abundant, and the motherly.  For others, Jiri Mountain has been metaphorized as a mountain of the people and resistance, but also as a mountain of death and resentment, where fierce battles were fought between the end of Japanese colonial rule and the Korean War, slaughtering many Koreans. And still yet, for others, the mountain is a space of life and hope that renews the lives of today and tomorrow.

Jiri Mountain by Kim Ji-ha

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Jiri Mountain, photography by Ha Sung-mok

Jiri Mountain by Kim Ji-ha

When I look up at the snow-covered mountain,
it makes my blood boil
When I look at the green bamboo forest,
it makes me burn with anger.
Below that bamboo,
below that mountain,
the red blood still runs.

Oh, that which runs fully
and wails,
still over that field,
winding over every ridge—
Oh, the flag,
the dazzling white cloth
that leaves behind the burning eyes.

Oh, one rusty sickle and that long poverty that I embraced, crying,
and those who left, leaving behind
the futile promise of return–
oh, that which still wails in my heart!

Oh, the haunting sound that pounds upon me like this,
below the frozen winter,
the thing that has flown like a stream
and still come back like a stream–
oh, the old song.

When I look up at the snow-covered mountain,
it makes my blood boil;
When I look at the green bamboo forest,
it makes my anger burn.
Oh, it is still alive, winding through my heart,
oh, Jiri Mountain,
oh, Jiri Mountain!

지리산 /김지하

눈 쌓인 산을 보면
피가 끓는다
푸른 저 대샆을 보면
노여움이 불붙는다
저 대 밑에
저 산 밑에
지금도 흐를 붉은 피

지금도 저 벌판
저 산맥 굽이굽이
가득히 흘러
울부짖는 것이여
깃발이여
타는 눈동자 떠나던 흰옷들의 그 눈부심

한 자루의 녹슨 낫과 울며 껴안던 그 오랜 가난과
돌아오마던 덧없는 약속 남기고
가버린 것들이여
지금도 내 가슴에 울부짓는 것들이여

얼어붙은 겨울 밑
시냇물 흐름처럼 갔고
시냇물 흐름처럼 지금도 살아 돌아와
이렇게 나를 못살게 두드리는 소리여
옛 노래여

눈 쌓인 산을 보면 피가 끓는다
푸른 저 대샆을 보면 노여움이 불붙는다
아아 지금도 살아서 내 가슴에 굽이친다
지리산이여
지리산이여

Heavenly King Summit by Kim Young-jae

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Jiri Mountain, photography by Ha Sung-mok

Heavenly King Summit by Kim Young-jae

The ascent was far and long
but I stayed there only a moment–
the place that I used to see only from afar,
having never climbed;
the top of my life
that I wished to climb surely once.

Who would climb this rough mountain road on my behalf?
Breaking my two knees, I have rid myself of foolish ways.
The world lies silent below the mountain;
looking at it, oh, I break myself again.

천왕봉/ 김영재

오르는 길 멀고 길지만 머무를 시간 너무 짧구나
이제껏 오르지 못하고 멀리서만 바라본 곳
단 한번 꼭 오르고 싶었던
내 삶의 정수리

내 대신 누가 험한 산길 오르고 오르겠느냐
두 무릎 꺾이며 꺾이며 어리석었던 나를 버렸다
산아래 고요히 누운 세상
아! 그걸 보며 나를 또 꺾는다