“And It Grows Darker” by Kim Myeong-In

Kim Myeong-In

Kim Myeong-In (image source)

Whether promising or obscuring,
there’s an awful glow, I know, for anyone,
which piles higher than the polar lights.
On this bank, a disappearing overpass, a disappearing river.
On the other, I see a willow forest,
thick snowflakes tangled together,
and with them, roads which called me down their paths, now fading away.
For some reason, you wander the fields for a time in the faint evening light,
watching the western skies as though in exile.
My love, that’s for after losing everything.
A heart with folded knees gathered up beneath — this sign of age, this omen of misfortune.
The calling wind bows the greyed heads of the pampas grass
and the shaft of my arrow in flight.
With a limp, you pass over the mountain ridge,
and till morning, darkness grows like spilt blood.


다짐하는 일도 흐려버리는 일도 누구에겐가
지독한 빛이어서 극광까지
밀려가버렸다고 깨닫는 지금
구름다리도 걷혀버린 강 이쪽에서
건너편 저무는 버드나무 숲 바라본다
얽혀 자욱하던 눈발도
그 속으로 불려 나가던 길들도 그쳤는데
어스름 저녁 답은 무슨 일로 한참을 서성거리며
망명지에선 듯 서쪽 하늘 지켜보게 하는가
사랑이여, 다 잃고 난 뒤에야
무릎 꺾어 끓어앉히는 마음의 이 청승
쟁쟁한 바람이 쇳된 억새머리 갈아엎으면
내가 쏜 화살에 맞아
절룩이며 산등성이를 넘어간 그 짐승
밤새도록 흘렸을 피 같은 어둠 몰려온다


The  poem originally appeared in Moonji Webzine, a free, online Korean-language literary journal. Moonji Webzine was discontinued, but new content is still posted on Moonji’s blog.