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Articles tagged "Korean"

Genesis

Only a few machines on this moon-base remain working. The satellite camera that always faces Earth, the monitor connected to that camera, the memory device, and the replay device. They run on solar power, so I suppose they’ll stay on as long as the sun exists. They’ll keep their vigil over Earth after I’m gone. The sun won’t last forever, but at least I’ll have disappeared before it goes out. It’s sad to disappear. I guess it’s like being an old...

Kim Yideum’s “Cheer Up, Femme Fatale” & Oh Sae-young’s “Night-Sky Checkerboard”

While reading these two collections, I couldn’t get LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge” out of my head. Like James Murphy’s “kids coming up from behind,” Kim Yideum is a brash, no holds barred poet, unafraid of sensitive topics, though with a poet’s healthy self-doubt. Oh Sae-young, on the other hand, is an older poet whose generation came of age during the depredations of Korean partition and matured under the fractured and...

The Sea Girl & the Prince

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What! Who could this strange man be?

from “I’ll Be Right There”

Dahn sent me the first letter a year after he joined the military and was selected for the special forces. It was more than five pages long. He didn’t mention anywhere in it that he was in a special forces unit. I unfolded the letter and put it on my desk. From GI Dahn to Civilian Yoon . . . I stared at those words for a long time. It pained me to realize that I had never written him back. I filled a fountain pen with ink, took out a new notebook, and wrote his name at the...

Lament

He was fifty-four years old with a sound mind and a body that was rotting away. He died. He wasn’t young enough to have required a specific cause of death, or young enough to cause great sadness. Only a vague sadness existed about death itself. He died at fifty-four years of age, and he had no one who would be sad about his death. There was no one who would remember him. Because he had already died he couldn’t even claim ownership over such people. Death meant losing all things,...

O. Cuniculi

A rabbit. He turned at the sound of rustling in the bushes and spotted a ball of white fluff. What he’d mistaken for a white dog was staring at him with red eyes. He wouldn’t have known it was a rabbit if not for the eyes. He knelt before it. The eyes held him captive. As he gazed into them, relief at the thought that he was not the only one in this world with eyes red from exhaustion washed over him, and he chafed to think such a being had been stranded in an unlit park for...

Necessary or True Happenstances: An Introduction to the Work of Hye Young-Pyun

“O. Cuniculi” is featured in Hye Young-Pyun’s third collection of short stories, Evening Courtship, for which she was awarded the prestigious Dong-in Literature Prize last year. The story begins one night in a park when a man on temporary assignment out in the country is captivated by the red eyes of a rabbit “whose white fur had turned filthy.” The man brings the rabbit home inside his shirt. But he will soon regret it, and in the end he will not know how to...

Passing Through Seongeup Village

Whenever I gaze into a horse’s virtuous eyes, it seems to know nothing but the indigent evening in the direction the wind is blowing from. Translation of   "Seongeup maeureul jinamyeo. " By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Yoo Hui-Sok. All rights reserved.

Writing Poems without Meaning

Sham-seeming life gauze-mask-like thoughts is there no removing the mask from consciouness? Disposing words without meaning Writing poems without meaning Writing poems like scraps of debris scraps of shattering consciousness Translation of   " Eumi eopneun sireul sseunda. "   By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2011 by Brother Anthony of Taizé. All rights reserved.

The Boy in the Cave

Each and every person’s eyes all shine in the sky. The sea under the sky is limpid through and through. It seems the crying of countless newborn babes can be heard emerging from the sea 230 feet down 260 feet down that far down everything can be seen in the sea limpid limpid. Above the sea the sun eventually sets. It will rise again tomorrow. Rise and set again tomorrow. Ah, the sunset glow over the whole East Sea! Some hundred miles out from the shore out in...

Underground Flower

There is an orchid that only blooms underground. Because it never shows itself above ground few are said to have seen it. Only white ants can enter the blooms, drawn by the fragrance rising from the runnels cut by the autumn rain. The orchid withers in sunlight, which the white ants burrow into the ground to escape, their bodies sparkling white, though they work in the dark. Like undeveloped film, this orchid never shows itself; its whole body consists of roots, even its...

Cutting off a Finger

My mother's finger was cut off by a slamming door. Or should I say that she stuck her finger in it to stop the slicing wind. Honey, don't shiver, just feed the hungry wind this bloody piece of meat. At the sight of the flame ignited by the blood, the coyotes outside the door ran away. O my mother pacing and pacing, clutching her pale stiffening finger like a candle. Translation of "Danjee." Copyright Ra Heeduk. By arrangement with the author....

How Far Does the Light

That pomegranate lives the same life, yearns for the same light. Its pointed scarlet blossom is an open mouth, "Ah," gathering every ray of light. This fall, in my red gums, pain burned belatedly, and the soft bones of love that I couldn't accept became sunlight stuck in the distance. Though I have reached the age to stop believing in love I still yearn for light, I call out to somebody, "Ah." Copyright Ra Heeduk. By arrangement with the author. Translation...

Scale and Stairs

If you climbed up the back stairs to the church a piano stood like a sad black animal in a corner of the nave. The child reflected in the black sheen of the piano opened the cover and cautiously began to play. Though her hands were too small to thaw the frozen keyboard, the sound rising into the cold air of the church was incense for a ten-year-old to burn. The back door opened, and when the deacon and his old mother entered she shut the cover and walked down the stairs....

The Man Who Sold His Shadow

Here's a question we all ask ourselves at least once when we're young: Where does that starlight come from? It's been there before I was born, and before my grandmother, and her grandmother were born. So just how far is that star from Earth? The curiosity of children is insatiable. They'll grab a flashlight and aim it at the stars and think, This light will get there someday, won't it? When I'm dead, and my grandchildren are gone, and their grandchildren as well....
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