Discovering poetry can twist your insides

Watching Korean dramas is like eating rich, dark chocolate. It tastes so good, but I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t be having it – or spending my nights watching it! I guess there are worse things to be hooked onto, and at least sometimes, the dramas lead to something interesting to explore. In this case, Korean poetry. Even after translation, the words tug at my heart and make me feel kinda of bittersweet and strange. I’m not sure what it is I’m longing for, but the feelings are there. Perhaps that’s the magic of poetry – bringing out emotions that we choose to ignore, or want to forget. I wonder how the poem feels like, read in Korean…

I found an English translation of Azaleas by Kim Sowol, translated by David R. McCann (from The Silence of Love).


When you leave,

weary of me,

without a word I shall gently let you go.

From Mt. Yak

in Yongbyon

I shall gather armfuls of azaleas

and scatter them on your way.

Step by step

on the flowers placed before you

tread lightly, softly as you go.

When you leave

weary of me,

though I die, I’ll not let one tear fall.