COUNTING THE STARS AT NIGHT
by Yun Dong Ju
Up where the seasons pass,
the sky is filled with autumn.
In this untroubled quietude
I could almost count these autumn-couched stars.
But why I cannot now enumerate
those one or two stars in my breast
is because the dawn is breaking soon,
and I have tomorrow night in store,
and because my youth is not yet done.
Memory for one star,
love for another star,
sorrow for another star,
longing for another star,
poetry for another star,
and oh! mother for another star.
Mother! I try to call each star by some such evocative word, names of school children with whom I shared desks, names of alien girls like Pai, Kyunh, Ok, names of maidens who have already become mothers, names of neighbors who lived in poverty, names of birds and beasts like pigeon, puppy, rabbit, donkey, deer,and names of poets like Francis, Jammes and Reiner Maria Rilke.
They are as far away
and intangible as the stars.
You too are in the distant land of the Manchus.
Because I have a secret yearning,
seated on this star-showered bank,
I have written my name thereon
and covered it with earth.
In truth, it is because the insects chirp
all night to grieve over my bashful name.
But spring shall come to my stars after winter's delay,
greening the turf over the graves,
so this bank that buries my name
shall proudly wear the grass again.
Another new book brought home by my lil bro 😍
After reading J.M.Lee's Investigation about the prison life of Yun Dong Ju, I became so fascinated with this Korean Bard who lived a short life of 28 years. I found his verse and prose beautifully written for its youthful spirit, simplicity and sincerity. So happy when I found out that his collected poems and proses "Sky, Wind, Star and Poetry" had been translated to Indonesian and published by @pustakaobor_id 💕
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