- Something Beautiful, and: If Not for the Body, It Wouldn’t Have Existed, and: To Be Alive Right Now
Every morning flowers blossomed
Things that had a stitch in the side things that had a tingling in the armpit
Things that were in pain all through the night couldn’t get a wink of sleep
In the morning something I grasped by chance something my hand grasped
I didn’t know it was something beautiful
if not for the body, it wouldn’t have existed
Like an army recruit’s syphilitic scalp, the mountains are littered with ragged patches of whitish snow. The flakes fall from an old pine tree’s branch, and like rice flour are smudging the evergreen’s red nut. I take a long piss into a snowbank. Its heat bores a hole big as a turnip. Do you remember the pig’s warm blood at the festival, spilling from the hole stabbed in its neck? Oh, the hole. If not for the body, it wouldn’t have existed. [End Page 73]
to be alive right now
People climbing up the black mountain ridge are falling. Bodiless, they are only their clothes. Mara, I embrace you at the waist. Are you alive, have you been alive, to live right now is to leave your body in the blind wind, is to be inhaled into the pupil of your eyes, the lowest sky on the ground, Mara, to be alive right now is to be caught by the last dream of immortality in a rectangular tomb piled with black stones, is to bow toward the torn shadow until the blind wind tears us [End Page 74]
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.
Chung Eun-Gwi was born in 1969 in Kyungju, Korea. She received her doctorate from the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and is now an associate professor in the Department of English Literature at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, in Seoul. Among her translated works is the volume Ah! Mouthless Things by Lee Seong-bok. She received a Daesan Foundation Translation Grant for Korean literature and a translation grant from the Korea Literature Translation Institute (KLTI). She has participated in many KLTI projects.
Myung-Mi Kim holds an MFA degree from the University of Iowa and is a professor of English in the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). She has written critical essays about translation and integrates translation into her own avant-garde poetry. Among other awards, she has received a Daesan Foundation Translation Grant.