Featured Poem

I Believe In This World

Even when I walk alone at night,
even when someone quietly follows me into the back alley,
I believe.

I believe flowers will bloom.
I believe the stink and the pollen will trigger my allergies.
I believe in white blossoms because they wither.
I believe the girl who reveals her white nape under the flowering tree 
will receive merciless love.

Drag out the furniture and memorabilia,
tear open the curtains
and look at my body.
It is steeped in sounds and colours that touch the heart.
My love, O love,
look at what it hides from you.

I believe.
I believe in today’s news.
I believe in the travelling theatre.
I believe that the music and the circus won’t ever return.

I believe no music or reading will interrupt me.
No demolition or bombing raids will ruin my dinner.
O love, you’ll buzz in and out like a fly.
You’ll go on like this for a little while, then stop.

The flowers bloom even when I barely water them.
Some flowers sprout even though the soil is parched.
Those kinds of flowers are terrifying.
I put on a mask and flee.

I believe
the thief who escaped from the dark alley
might have been my lover waiting for me.
I believe
the killing won’t end, the raping won’t end,
and more wars will flare up.
I believe
we’ll divvy up our pointless flaws
and finally disappear without ever making things good.

» Comment on this translation 0 comment(s)

About the translation:
» Read translator's notes
Poet:
KIM YIDEUM
Translator:
Don Mee Choi, JOHANNES GÖRANSSON, JI YOON LEE
Original language:
Korean
Issue:
2016 Number 3 - The Blue Vein

About the author

Original poet

KIM YIDEUM

KIM YIDEUM’s books include three poetry collections, A Stain in the Shape of a Star (2005), Cheer up, Femme Fatale (2007), Ine...

» Read more

Translator

Don Mee Choi

DON MEE CHOI is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), a chapbook Pet...

» Read more

Translator

JOHANNES GÖRANSSON

JOHANNES GÖRANSSON is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Sugar Book, as well as the translator of a range of...

» Read more

Translator

JI YOON LEE

JI YOON LEE is the author of Foreigner’s Folly (Coconut Books, 2014), Funsize/Bitesize (Birds of Lace, 2013), and IMMA (Radioa...

» Read more

Comment

No Comments

ADD YOUR COMMENT


Browse poems

By original language »

By issue of MPT »

Go Digital

Subscribe to the digital edition of MPT for access to all back issues and to the Exactly app.» View free trial issue

Back to top
Supported by Arts Council England

Copyright © Modern Poetry in Translation and contributors
Website design ashbydesign
Developed by Code Frontiers
Powered by Storemill