Translated by Chae-Pyong Song
You are so lovely by Kim Yong-taek
On a spring day
because of your love
I saw the pleasing sight of sunlight shining
into my shadowy backyard.
Out of darkness to the fireside of love
you gently called me,
and smiled as purely as a wildflower,
standing in front of me in the bright, shining light
that only someone who has passed through darkness can make.
just to think of you–
참 좋은 당신/ 김용택
응달지던 내 뒤란에
햇빛이 들이치는 기쁨을 나는 보았습니다
어둠 속에서 사랑의 불가로
나를 가만히 불러내신 당신은
어둠을 건너온 자만이 만들 수 있는
밝고 환한 빛으로 내 앞에 서서
들꽃처럼 깨끗하게 웃었지요
(Anne Rashid and Melanie Steyn read the earlier versions of this translation.)
Kim Yong-taek (1948- ) was born in Imsil, Jeollabuk-do. With lyrical (often regional) vernacular, he has written many poems about undamaged agricultural communities and the profound beauty of nature. His poetry collections include The Sumjin River,A Clear Day, Sister, The Day Is Getting Dark, The Flower Letter I Miss, Times Like A River, That Woman’s House, and Your Daring Love. He also published essay collections such as A Small Village,What’s Longed for Exists behind the Mountain, A Story of the Sumjin River, and Follow the Sumjin River and Watch. He was awarded the Kim Soo-young Literary Award (1986) and the Sowol Poetry Award (1997). He currently teaches at Woonam Elementary School.