Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Meditation on Ginkgo Nuts Left by My Father - Lee Gil-Won

When it reached the sea,
The river quieted for the first time,
After sending up clouds of spray, shaking the rocks,
And stirring up muddy water from time to time.

Father was a river running down this land,
Unable to gather and collect,
With fierce greed,
The trickling waters of the valley,
But letting them go on flowing.

Even while flowing,
He reared fish in his arms,
Forever fighting the polluted waters that flowed in.

They divided, dirtied, scratched,
And then all departed.
The river flowed all alone,
With the sunset hanging full on its back.

*He left behind a few ginkgo nuts that he would tap open and eat
each day. I nuked them in the microwave and gobbled them all up
at once. That was all.

Lee Gil-Won (20th century) South Korea
Translated by Ko Chang-Soo

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