Strangely, I have been writing more poetry lately and although they have not much to do with Korea, as I did my best to attempt to translate my poem into Korean so I include some of them on my blog (and also Farsi translation). This one is not my best. I am not sure if this poem is even suited for Korean translation. Love and destructiveness are not topics I connect well in Korean as my knowledge of Korean is perhaps not really nuanced enough to do justice to this poem. Still, I do my best…
The night calls me, soft and seductive. Come my love, Come and be with me. Forget about the day. Forget your sorrow. Let the darkness embrace you. Come dream with me, Let dreams be your reality. Why hesitate? All you have to do is surrender.
밤이 저를 부릅니다, 부드럽고 매혹적으로. 오세요 제사랑, 저와 함께있어요. 낮은 잊어 버리세요. 슬픔도 잊어 버리세요. 밤이 당신을 감싸 드릴수 있어요. 저와 함께 꿈을 꾸세요, 꿈이 현실로 될때까지. 왜 망설이나요? 모든것을 놓고 저에게 오시면 된답니다.
شب مرا به خود فرا می خواند اغوا کننده و لطیف بیا عشقم بیا و با من باش روز را فراموش کن غمت را فراموش کن بگذار تاریکی تو را در آغوش بگیرد بیا و با من خواب ببین بگذار رویاها واقعیت تو باشند چرا مردد هستی؟ تنها کاری که بایدت کرد تن سپردن است
Don’t ask why, but I started learning Persian (Farsi) just recently. I guess I wanted to learn a language that is perhaps totally not practical for once? Until now, I learned languages because I wanted to be able to speak and communicate, especially since I always had a bit of wanderlust. But with Persian I find myself learning just because I find it beautiful. I am not a polyglot. I do speak Korean and English and reasonable Spanish, but otherwise, just smattering of words in a bunch of other languages.
But there was definitely a strange consequence of learning Persian which I thought was impractical. It has awakened my poetry writing. I had abandoned writing poems long ago, reasons I had briefly explained in my other post, but now I revisit my decision. Since I’ve been writing poems in English and translating them into Persian as part of my learning exercise, I thought why not also translate them into Korean? And perhaps I would add Spanish as well in the future posts.
How do I love you When you do not exist What do I call you When you have no name How do I touch you When you are a void When my heart breaks And I cease to exist Would I be with you?
당신을 어떻게 사모하나요? 존재하지 않으신 분을. 당신을 어떻게 부르나요? 이름이 없으신 분을. 당신을 어떻게 촉감 하나요? 공백만 보일 뿐인데. 마음이 너무 아파 더이상 존재하지 않을때 그때 당신과 함께 있을수 있을까요?
چگونه تو را دوست بدارم هنگامی که وجود نداری تو را چه بنامم هنگامی که نامی نداری چگونه تو را لمس کنم هنگامی که وجود غایبی وقتی دلم می شکند و دیگر وجود ندارم آیا هرگز با تو خواهم بود؟
My mother is a poet and an intellectual, but she spent many years not actively writing because as a married woman in Korea, she did not have as much freedom to do so. As a person who feels the urge to write constantly, I can imagine how it feels to have to block out that feeling. Living in the U.S., I am not as limited by the role of a woman, but the reality regardless intrudes and I am forever pushing my writing behind the day-to-day life. Writing poetry only feeds one’s soul, no? And the reality wins out…
I initially started writing poetry when I was a teenager, but abandoned it because…I am not sure why. Perhaps I felt poetry came too easily to me, which meant I was not good? My reasoning for stopping is very convoluted. Instead of poetry, I spent most of what little writing time I had on writing stories. The result is that I have not written a single poem for many years. Now full of nostalgia, I start again…like my mother who picked up her pen again as she got older.
Below is a short poem written in English, translated to Korean as best as I could.
When I close my eyes, What do I see? Faded memories, Grey and melancholic. And I hear a song that I had forgotten. My heart sings to me, Of love and sadness. When I open my eyes, That song fades away, And my heart is forgotten.
눈을 감 으면 저에게 무엇이 보일까요? 색이 바랜 추억들, 회색의 향수. 그리고 내가 잊었던 노래가 들려 옵니다. 내 마음이 제게 사랑과 슬픔에 대한 노래를 한답니다. 하지만 눈을 뜨면 그 노래는 사라져 버리고 내 마음은 잊혀집니다.
As Korea has been for many generations, a patriarchal society, one does not encounter too many notable ladies of noble descent. There are a number of common class ladies who were Gisengs that defied their time, but defying the traditional role as a noble lady was difficult. With transmission of Confucianism, a philosophical idea that holds appeal as a pure form, but one that I have hard time liking due to its often misogynistic nature, a life of respected noble ladies in Korea was confined to being a wife and a head of the inner household. Even if some noble ladies were well educated and accomplished through the aid of their fathers, once they were married, their life had to take a back seat to their husband’s.
신사임당 is one lady who defied that, partly with help of her father who chose a husband for her who would let her flourish, although at the end, he also became jealous and did not act as a supportive husband. She was considered an ideal lady by Confucian standards, yet she did defy the custom of being overshadowed by her husband and male-oriented society. Her extremely accomplished poems and paintings still remain to this day.