Poems by Kang, Byeong-Cheol

Kang, Byeong-Cheol (writer, poet, translator, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science)

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Kang Byeong-Cheol is a Korean author, poet, translator, and Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science. He was born in Jeju City, South Korea in 1964. He began writing in 1993 and published his first short story, “Song of Shuba,” at the age of twenty-nine.
In 2005, he published a collection of short stories. He has won four literature awards and has published more than eight books. He was a member of The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International from 2009 to 2014.
He also served as an editorial writer for NewJejuIlbo, a newspaper in Jeju City, Korea. Currently, he is a Research Executive at The Korean Institute for Peace and Cooperation.

A Drop That Will Change the Future

Long ago, at Vilnius University in Lithuania,
I read a phrase that struck a chord in my heart:
“One idea to change the future”

As I walked down the street,
Or sipped my coffee,
This phrase would come to mind,
Like a beautiful line from a poem.

A Turkish poet’s one idea,
Of an Earth Civilization Initiative,
Believing that we can change the future.

For a true heart can move the world,
Just as dandelion seeds blown by the wind,
Can take root and spread across the globe

May the poet’s idea
Spread far and wide across the world,
And through the collective efforts of many drops,
May they come together to form an ocean,
Changing the future as we know it.

미래를 바꿀 한 방울

오래전에, 리투아니아의 빌니우스 대학에서
나는 내 가슴에 박히는 한 구절을 읽었지
미래를 바꾸는 한 생각

거리를 걸을 때도
커피를 마실 때도
내 마음에서 그 구절이 떠올랐어
아름다운 시 구절처럼

터키 시인의 한 생각
미래를 바꿀 수 있다고 믿어

진실한 마음은 세상을 움직이지
민들레 꽃씨가 바람에 날려
온세상에 뿌리를 내리듯이

시인의 구상이
온 세상에 널리 퍼져서
미래를 바꾸게 되길
한 방울의 물이 모여서
바다가 되듯이
미래를 바꾸는 물방울들이 함께하길

The Reason why eyes are only in the front

Keep your eyes forward and walk
Walk, and keep on walking
Take a step or two back only when necessary
But everyone’s destiny is to move forward
Those who are alive
Must move forward.

If you deeply love the past
And seek divine revelations from it
Then it’s okay to stay there
But if not, then live in this dynamic moment.

The leaves of a silver fir tree, sparkling in the sunlight,
Won’t show their backs unless there is no wind.

Unless it’s absolutely necessary to look back,
Keep moving forward.
There may be times when you take a few steps back,
But even on a moonless night, you must move forward.
The silver fir tree looks even more beautiful when it shows its back,
But it won’t reveal its bright silver color without the wind.

눈이 앞에만 있는 이유

앞을 보며 걸어가라
걷고 또 걸어가라
뒷걸음질은 어쩌다 한두 걸음,
앞으로 가라는 것은 모두의 숙명
살아있는 것들은
앞으로 가야 하네

만일, 과거를 그렇게 깊이 사랑한다면
과거에서 신성한 계시를 찾는다면
그렇다면, 과거에 머물러도 좋다
그렇지 않다면 역동적인 이 순간에 살아라

햇볕에 반짝이는
은사시나무의 잎들도 바람이 없다면
등을 보이지 않는다

꼭 고개를 돌려 돌아볼 때가 아니면
앞으로 가라
한두 걸음 뒷걸음 할 때도 있겠지만
달이 없는 밤길에도 앞으로 가야 한다
은사시나무는 등을 보일 때
더 아름답지만
바람이 없다면
결코, 찬란한 은색을 보이지 않는다

At the Seaside of Aewel Handam

When you feel like living is too difficult,
Go to the seaside
There, with your head in the wind,
Look out at the sea
Along with twenty-eight palm trees.

Watch the red sun disappear beyond the endless horizon
And look for the revelations of God’s words.

Even on a cloudy day, the shimmer of light
Peeking through the grey clouds may help someone
Realize just how beautiful the world is.

When you feel like the world is dirty and cruel,
Go to the Aewel Handam beach.
Below the cliffs, with the vast ocean stretching out,
You may see the world as it was meant to be
When Buddha lifted his foot to reveal beautiful world.

애월 한담에서

사는 것이 어렵다는 생각이 들면
바다로 가라
거기 바람에 머리를 내맡긴
스물여덟 그루의 종려나무와 함께
바다를 보라

한없이 넓은 바다 끝 수평선으로 가는
붉은 해를 보고 하느님의 계시를 찾아라

흐린 날 먹구름 사이로 비치는 서광
누군들 세상이 아름답다는 것을 깨닫지 않으랴

세상이 더럽다는 생각이 들면
해변으로 가라

절벽 아래 광활한 바다
부처가 발을 들어 세상을 가리킬 때를 기다리면
본래 세상이 청정하다는 것을 볼지도 모를 일이다