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Korean Short Stories

Ra Heeduk Wearing Pink Shoes 분홍신을 신고 Translated by Kevin O'Rourke

Information This work was previously published in New Writing from Korea . Please contact the LTI Korea Library. library@klti.or.kr


About Ra Heeduk Ra Heedukk (1966~ ) was born and raised in a Korean orphanage where her parents— Christians who sought to carry out the teachings of their religion through communal living—served on the administrative staff. Na has confessed that the experience of living with orphans had made her a precocious child; and the recognition of the difference between herself and her playmates early on gave her a unique perspective on the world. Ra stumbled into the life of a poet quite unintentionally. While struggling between the religious ideals fostered by her parents and the causes upheld by the student movement she encountered in college, Na simply came to seek salvation in poetry.

LTI Korea eLibrary: http://library.klti.or.kr/node/121

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Wearing Pink Shoes I gave myself to the music; my feet slid away and I began to cast off time. Thread unraveling within me slid sul-sul-sul-sul across the threshold. Feet danced past the bakery, past the laundry, past the park, past the local tong office, past your table and bed, past the graves and the grassy fields. They did not return. What now? 'Keep dancing!' the world cried. Though my legs be threatened with amputation, I can still give myself completely to the music. Remember I'm wearing my snug pink shoes. Do you hear the melody in my blood? Do you hear the water crossing the embankment? I'm at liberty to go where I please, but I go nowhere. The sun does not set here no matter how I dance. The bobbin within unravels, endlessly, like water flowing over the embankment. Threads tangle, roads tangle. Axe raised, the city rushes at me, trying to capture me, but I cannot stop dancing because of pink shoes I put on so long ago, somnolent for far too long. Copyright 2008 Literature Translation Institute of Korea

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[korean short stories]ra heeduk, wearing pink shoes  
[korean short stories]ra heeduk, wearing pink shoes  
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