10월 (October)

29 June 2011
1

흩어진 그림자들, 모두
한 곳으로 모으는
그 어두운 정오의 숲 속으로
이따금 나는 한 개 짧은 그림자 되어
천천히 걸어 들어간다
쉽게 조용해지는 나의 빈 손바닥 위에 가을은
둥글고 단단한 공기를 쥐어줄 뿐
그리고 나는 잠깐 동안 그것을 만져볼 뿐이다
나무들은 언제나 마지막이라 생각하며
작은 이파리들은 떨구지만
나의 희망은 이미 그런 종류의 것이 아니었다

너무 어두워지면 모든 추억들은
갑자기 거칠어진다
내 뒤에 있는 캄캄하고 필연적인 힘들에 쫓기며
나는 내 침묵의 심지를 조금 낮춘다
공중의 나뭇잎 수효만큼 검은
옷을 입은 햇빛들 속에서 나는
곰곰이 내 어두움을 생각한다, 어디선가 길다란 연기들이 날아와
희미한 언덕을 만든다, 빠짐없이 되살아나는
내 젊은 날의 저녁들 때문이다

한때 절망이 내 삶의 전부였던 적이 있었다
그 절망의 내용조차 잊어버린 지금
나는 내 삶의 일부분도 알지 못한다
이미 대지의 맛에 익숙해진 나뭇잎들은
내 초라한 위기의 발목 근처로 어지럽게 떨어진다
오오, 그리운 생각들이란 얼마나 죽음의 편에 서 있는가
그러나 내 사랑하는 시월의 숲은
아무런 잘못도 없다

2

자고 일어나면 머리맡의 촛불은 이미 없어지고
하얗고 딱딱한 옷을 입은 빈 병만 우두커니 나를 쳐다본다

 
 
 
 

1

Sometimes I become a short shadow
and slowly walk into
a forest at dark noon
where scattered shadows
gather in one place
In my empty hand autumn, easily quieted,
just grabs the round hard air
and for a moment feels it
The trees always think it’s the last time
and drop their small leaves
but my hopes are no longer of that sort

When it grows too dark all memories
suddenly turn furious
Chased by dark inevitable powers behind me
I lower the wick of my silence a little
and in sunbeams garbed
black as the number of leaves in the air
I think in detail of my darkness, from somewhere straggling smoke wisps appear
and make a vague hillet, because of the evenings of my youth
which revive without exception

Once my life was just despair
Now even the despair’s contents are lost to me
I don’t know even one part of my life
The leaves already knowing the taste of the earth
fall dizzyingly near my shoddy ankles of danger
O, how memories of love always take the side of death
But the October forest that I love
has not erred

2

When I awaken from sleep the candlelight near my pillow has already vanished
Only an empty bottle wearing hard white clothes stares at me blankly

 
 

English translation by Gabriel Sylvian

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Gi Hyeongdo

About Gi Hyeongdo


Gi Hyeongdo was born in 1960 in Gyeonggi Province, Korea. He began publishing poems during his college years at Yonsei University, where he majored in Political Diplomacy. He received the Yun Dongju Literary Prize as a university student. While working as a reporter for the Jungang Ilbo in 1984, he began publishing poems marked by powerful individuality and “an intensely pessimistic world view”. His formal debut was the New Year’s Poetry Contest sponsored by the Donga Ilbo for his celebrated poem FOG (Angae). On March 7, 1989, he died of apoplexy seizure at a late-night theatre in Jongro. Collections include BLACK LEAF IN MY MOUTH (1989, published posthumously), a collection of prose writings entitled RECORDS OF SHORT JOURNEYS (1990), and his COMPLETE WORKS (1999).

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