- The Black River
The Black River
In the name of so-called God we tried to find our last route.
From the station platform, the singing of a military chorus rang in our ears. We sat in a train that was headed in the opposite direction of the men going off to die, browsing through novels, exhausted with lust.
Then we watched the countryside passing by like the wind, through a window that reflected every impurity. Expressionless, the farmers’ sons set out for the battlefields of life and death, of explosions and the smell of cordite.
The moon is blacker than desolation. We focused our eyes on freedom’s citadel far off, built on the blood of men— not the blood of men retreating like us.
In the name of so-called God, in that moonlight we saw a black river flowing. [End Page 131]
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.