Featured Poem

Two poems by Ko Un


The eyes of that woman
who for half a day of flower-rain
trod on falling petals,
petals covering the ground.
The eyes of that pregnant woman.

Some three years later,

the eyes of that newborn baby,
eyes that do not know
a swallow is a swallow.

The eyes of a young man shining at night
before the light was turned off,
eyes of a revolution
doomed to fail.

The eyes of an old man
looking back at his home
one last time
as he heads for hospital
or nursing home,
the home he once left
and couldn’t go back to
on the banks of the Cheongcheon River in North Korea,
the eyes of that old man where the source of tears has dried up.

We all have lived
together with those eyes,
lived then left.


Since I won’t be able to cry after death
I cry while I live.

I cry on moonlit nights.

A moonlit night
is the very stronghold of tears,
a sit-in of tears until dawn.
I cry until
the first cockcrow, the second cockcrow is heard.

I cry with the bashful joy
I feel after crying for a long time.
I cry
until there is revolution in the distant future.

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About the translation:
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Ko Un
Brother Anthony, Lee Sang-Wha
Original language:
2016 Number 3 - The Blue Vein

About the author

Ko Un

Original poet

Ko Un

Ko Un is a South Korean poet. His works have been translated and published in more than 15 countries and he has been imprisone...

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Brother Anthony

Brother Anthony of Taizé was born in Truro in 1942 and studied at Oxford University. He joined the monastic community of Taizé...

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Lee Sang-Wha

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