Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | November 21, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Grieving for My Dead Children

by Heo Nanseolheon (1563 – 1589).

Grieving for My Dead Children

Last year lost my beloved daughter
This year lost my beloved son
Sorrow upon sorrow in Gwangreung’s land
Two tomb mounds rise and gaze at each other
The wind blows over a lonely white poplar
And goblins’ fire flashes in the forest
Burning paper money I call your spirits
I offer saffron wine before your graves
I know for certain you brother and sister spirits
Shall chase and play all through the night
Should my belly hold a child
How can I expect it to grow well
In vain I sing Hwangdaie’s song
I mourn shedding blood tears
And swallowing my cry

(transl. by Hai-soon Lee, Hye-Sun Yi; Hwangdae’s Song refers to “Hwangdae’s Cucumber Song” by the Jang Hoe Crown Prince Hyun of China’s Tang Dynasty)

Notes:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2009/10/266_49512.html
http://www.prkorea.com/engnews/print_paper.cgi?action=print_paper&number=404&title=%ED%94%84%EB%A6%B0%ED%8A%B8
http://books.google.com/books?id=K17mLqrKA40C&dq=The+poetic+world+of+classic+Korean+women+writers&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=jbhS0KVT2Z&sig=TtnhO9VpVT9JKQhIH4SGm52ZM5U&hl=en&ei=nOX6Sr6eOIXgNZXQ0c8K&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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