restricted access Massacre
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Massacre

It was a day in May. It was a day in May 1980. It was evening in Kwangju on a day in May 1980.

At midnight I witnessed regular police replacing riot police. At midnight I witnessed riot police replacing soldiers. At midnight I witnessed American civilians evacuating the city. At midnight I witnessed all vehicles blockaded from entering the city.

Ah, what a grim midnight it was. Ah, what a calculated midnight it was.

It was a day in May. It was a day in May 1980. It was midday in Kwangju on a day in May 1980.

At midday I witnessed formations of soldiers armed with bayonets. At midday I witnessed formations of soldiers preparing to attack the people. At midday I witnessed formations of soldiers robbing the people. At midday I witnessed formations of soldiers evil incarnate.

Ah, what a fearful noon it was. Ah, what a brutal noon it was. [End Page 82]

It was a day in May. It was a day in May 1980. It was evening in Kwangju on a day in May 1980.

At midnight the city was a heart swarming like a beehive. At midnight the streets flowed with a river of blood like hot lava. At midnight the breeze stirred the bloody hair of a murdered girl. At midnight the darkness devoured the eyes of a child blinded by a bullet. At midnight the murderers were dragging the bodies away and hiding them.

Ah, what a dreadful midnight. Ah, what an organized midnight.

It was a day in May. It was a day in May 1980. It was midday in Kwangju on a day in May 1980.

At noon the sky was a blood-red cloth. At noon every house was weeping. Mount Mudung put on its mourning dress and veiled its face. At noon Yongsan River stopped breathing and held its breath.

Ah, in truth, Guernica could not have been so gruesome, the evil plotting so refined. [End Page 83]

Brother Anthony of Taizé

Brother Anthony of Taizé has published more than thirty volumes of translations of Korean poetry. Recently, he published ten volumes of work by Ko Un, along with volumes by Lee Si-Young and Kim Soo-bok. Born in Cornwall in 1942, he has lived in Korea since 1980 and was naturalized as a Korean citizen in 1994. Brother Anthony has received the Republic of Korea Literary Award (Translation), the Daesan Award for Translation, the Korea PEN Translation Prize, and the Ok-gwan (Jade Crown) Order of Merit for Culture from the Korean government. He is also emeritus professor of English at Sogang University and Chair of the International Creative Writing Center at Dankook University.

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