Korean Short Stories
Ko Hyeong-ryeol To a Never Quiet Poem 결코 조용하지 않은 詩에게 Translated by Lee Hyeongjin
Information This work was previously published in New Writing from Korea . Please contact the LTI Korea Library. email@example.com
About Ko Hyeong-ryeol Ko is a poet of “peculiar” voice. Calm even as it discusses the history of Korean national division or the author's wish for Korean reunification, his poetic language carries the halting tone of a soliloquy muttered or a conversation initiated with difficulty. Though never exertive, Ko’s poetry exudes the strength of compassion and warmth grounded in the poet’s own perspective toward the world, which is not that of a distant observer but rather that of a close neighbor who meditates on things as though they are an immediate part of his life. As Ko has aged his work has become even more humble and pure in tone. Ko as often describes the world as full of sorrow and suffering, but his poetry also expresses life with compassion and understanding. LTI Korea eLibrary: http://library.klti.or.kr/node/11
To a Never Quiet Poem I no longer foster quietude. I take turmoil as my servant. Dim-sighted, in the midst of turmoil I write poems with my ears wide open. Though the ear looks like a devil's ear, once the turmoil is erased, I am an empty shell like the 2,500 golden pagodas of Pagan opposite to where silence follows autumn's track. In this city I hear turmoil. Not today but from yesterday I write poems in the midst of turmoil. Thus to me only turmoil is proof of reality. Where there is no turmoil is a dead place. I invoke turmoil and write turmoil. Without turmoil, language becomes disquiet and my poem does not progress. Taking silence with me, I search for turmoil to be near turmoil, to live together with turmoil in turmoil, I rely on the rim of the devil's ear. Unable to let go of that light, I intend to return turmoil to language. Quietude is a form hiding turmoil. In the midst of darkness nothing can be written. In turmoil words work without a break. In the midst of dazzling turmoils, a single breath that binds language tightly, my poems become intricate in turmoil.
Copyright 2008 Literature Translation Institute of Korea