Odong-do Island by Lee Si-young

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Choi Il-ryoung


Odong-do Island by Lee Si-young

After this wind, camellias will bloom.
Sea and sky, freeze the wind for three or four days.

오동도/ 이시영

이 바람 지나면 동백꽃 핀다
바다여 하늘이여 한 사나흘 꽝꽝 추워라

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.

The Gnarled Tree by Shin Byong-eun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kang Jang-won

The Gnarled Tree by Shin Byong-eun

To become wholly a part of you is to harden

the white wind that has stormed together, shaken the core,

and slipped through the top of my head.

To build a strong house on the edge of the wind

is part of the scar I must never forget.

옹이/ 신병은

진정으로 그대의 한 부분이 되는 일은 오랜 세월 떼

지어 다니며 중심을 흔들다 정수리를 빠져나간 하얀 바람

소리를 다지는 일이다

잊어서는 안 될 상처의 한 부분을 위해 그 바람의

기슭에 단단한 집을 짓는 일이다

Shin Byong-eun (1955 – ) was born in Changnyong, Gyongsangnam-do. His poetry collections include Blades of Grass with WindGreeting the Vegetable MorningThe Sleep of Grasses on the Other Side of the RiverHow to Fire Wind, and The Scenery of Poems and Paintings. He was awarded the Jeonnam Poetry Award, the Yeosu Arts and Culture Award, and the Hanryo Literary Award. Currently he teaches at Yeosu Information Science High School and serves as a chairperson of Yeosu Branch of the Federation of Arts and Culture Organizations of Korea.

Fingerprints of Wind: Odong-do by Shin Byong-eun

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Painted by Kim Seon-soo

Fingerprints of Wind: Odong-do by Shin Byong-eun

Wind pushes up wind.
Today I carefully and slowly open the sound of wind,
accompanying the forest’s white wind,
remnants of wind that have lingered for thousands of years.
The chastity she traded to throw her body like a falling petal into wind
has bloomed into a camellia and her tale has become wind.
Yes, in the fresh blood red camellia I can see the road.
A footstep becomes the heart, and the heart becomes a road.
All over the sky and the earth these flowers have bloomed,
and in the depth of every wind these flowers have bloomed.

바람의 지문–오동도/ 신병은

바람이 바람을 밀어올려요
몇 천 년을 맴돌아온 바람의 퇴적,
나는 오늘 숲속 하얀 바람과 동행하며
조심스럽게 천천히 바람 소리를 열어봅니다
꽃잎처럼 몸을 던진 정절이 동백으로 피었고
설화 속의 물길이 바람이 되었어요
동백꽃 빨간 선혈 속에 길이 보여요
발길이 마음 되고 마음이 길이 되는,
하늘에도 땅에도 온통 꽃이 피었어요
바람의 깊이마다 꽃이 피었어요