“Brought to Bend” by Lee Soo-Myeong

Lee Soo-Myeong

Lee Soo-Myeong (image source)

I’m standing at the end of a corridor.

not to go to you,
I bent down.

Towards flowers blooming on the ground.
Towards the shadow of flowers in hiding,
I bent down.

Having been bent,
I didn’t bloom.

By the light which used to drift in the corridor,
while my light was bent,
while my day to day was bent,
they all failed to blossom.
Tenderly, I held out my hand.
But I didn’t talk
of the flowers shaken in those days,
of the shadows of flowers which disappeared
while I bent

trying to not go to you.


복도 끝에 너는 서 있다.

너에게 가려고
가지 않으려고
나는 허리를 구부렸다.

그때 피어난 바닥의 꽃을 향해
그때 숨어든 꽃의 그림자를 향해
허리를 구부렸다.

구부러진 채
나는 펴지지 않았다.

복도를 떠돌던
나의 빛은 구부러진 채
나의 나날들은 구부러진 채
펴지지 않았다.
가만히 손을 내밀었다.
그때 흔들린 꽃에 대해
그때 사라진 꽃의 그림자에 대해
나는 말하지 않았다.
너에게 가려고
가지 않으려고

구부러진 채


Read the original poem and more in NaverCast, a free service of the web portal Naver.

  • Interesting piece. I find Korean literature really interesting these days. Been reading up on it since I read 절화행 by 이규보

    • For me, what first got me interested in Korean literature was 그 집에는 by 이수명. I can quite explain the feeling, but it seems like there are so many layers beneath the surface of her poems.

      By the way, what made you pick up 절화행?

      • I stumbled upon it when I saw the Korean drama “Rooftop Prince” (옥탑방 왕세자). I got interested with the poem (being a poet/writer myself), and started researching on 이규보 and his works. After which, I started reading on Korean literature.