- When That Day Comes
If that day comes, when that day comes, Mount Samgak will rise and dance joyfully, the River Han’s waters will surge and seethe. And if that day should come before my life’s end, like the crows flying in the night sky I will strike the curfew bell in Jong-no with my head, and make it ring. And if my skull shatters to pieces, why should I have any regrets, since I will have died for joy?
When that day comes, when that day has come, in tears I will race along the wide road in front of Gwanghwa-mun, and if I should fall, sprawling on the ground because my heart has burst from too much joy, I will take a sharp knife and strip the skin from my body, and with it make a huge drum, raise it high on my shoulders, and pounding it lead the way at the head of your parade. If I could but hear those roaring voices before I fall, I would die in peace. [End Page 167]
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.