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  • Spring Road, and: To the Daffodil, and: I am Sorry, and: At the Cease-Fire Line, and: On Which Star
  • Chung Ho-seung (bio)
    Translated by Mia You (bio)

Spring Road

where the road endsthere is a roadwhere the road endsthere is a person who becomes a roadthere is a person who walks restlesslyto turn himself into a spring roadthe river water may flow and stopthe birds may fly away and not returnand all the flowers' petals betweenheaven and earth may scatterbut lookwhere love endsthere is a person who remains as lovethere is a person who walks restlesslyon a spring road to turn himself into love [End Page 153]

To the Daffodil

Do not cryLoneliness makes one humanEnduring loneliness is the task of livingDo not wait for the phone that will not ringThe black-breasted snipethat walks the snowy road when it snowsand walks the rainy road when it rainswatches you from the reed groveAt times, even God sheds tears because of lonelinessBecause of loneliness, the birds perch on branchesEven the mountain's shadow descends once a dayto the village because of lonelinessEven the ringing bell echoes because of loneliness [End Page 154]

I am Sorry

at the end of the road, there was a mountainat the end of the mountain, there was a roadagain at the end of the road, there was a mountainat the end of the mountain, there was youyou were weeping, your face buried between your knees

I am sorryI am sorry that I love you [End Page 155]

At the Cease-Fire Line

on a spring day, at the corner of the cease-fire lineyou bloomed into a white shepherd's purse and wept

on a spring day, beyond the cease-fire lineyou bloomed into a white brier rose and laughed

even at night you were a blue skythe springless blue sky of the fatherland

because I walked along your riverbanksbecause I forgot the sound of your petal-like footsteps

if I die, bury me in your heartif you die, be buried in my heart [End Page 156]

On Which Star

On which star did we meetthat we yearn for each other soOn which star did we yearnthat we love each other so

Those impoverished in lovego out to the streets carrying lanternsThe grass is wilting and the flowers wither

On which star did we partthat with each shining of the starwe shine for each other soOn which star did we sleepthat we thrust awake the morning so

For you who are coldestbefore the sun risesFor you who kindlethe single bonfire on the darkening beach

To depart from which star tonightdo I now stop and hesitate to startTo walk along which star's morning roaddo I tremble under the blade of the heart [End Page 157]

Chung Ho-seung

Chung Ho-seung was born in 1950, in the province of South Kyŏngsang. Following his 1972 publication debut, with a poem featured in the Korea Daily News, Chung has published numerous poetry collections, such as From Sorrow to Happiness, Jesus of Seoul, and Dawn Letter, which have achieved both critical acclaim and mass appeal. His minimal verse style interweaves the everyday and the fantastic, proposing the possibility of lyrical revelation in even the most prosaic encounters.

Mia You

Mia You is a doctoral student in English literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and received a master's degree in the Regional Studies: East Asia program at Harvard University. Her first poetry chapbook, Objective Practice, was published in 2007 by Achiote Press, and she has contributed to journals such as Counterpath Online, Rooms Outlast Us, and Versal.



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pp. 153-157
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