Come to the Lighthouse of Peace – A Poem from Jeju Island of Korea
Yang Geum-Hee, award-winning poetess and writer from Republic of Korea shares her poem written in memory of victims of Jeju uprising
Born in 1967 in Jeju, Korea, Yang Geum-Hee published three books – two collections of poetry: ‘Happiness Account’, ‘Ieodo, Island of Legend and Existence’, and one collection of essay ‘Happy Companion. She was the first president of the Ieodo Literature Association, the editor in chief of the Jejuin News. She worked as a research fellow of the Society of Ieodo Research. She served as a researcher at Jeju Sea Grand Center at Jeju National University and a special professor at Jeju International University. Currently, she is editorial writer of New Jeju Ilbo, special researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of Jeju National University, vice-president of the Jeju Regional Committee of the Korean PEN center, Executive of the Jeju Institute for the Korean Unification and Executive of the Korean Association of Ethics. She won 4 Literary Awards.
Come to the Lighthouse of Peace
Since there won’t be any special events today
My father left home, waving his hand, saying not to worry
As something suspicious is happening outside
We’ll be back soon, after holding both hands tightly
Uncle who went out for a drink,
My sister who shone brighter than the spring sunlight!
And my little brother who was as fluffy as cotton!
All the flowers wilted before they could even bloom
Oh April camellia flowers!
April has come again, as usual this year
But the wind of “Year of No Animal Sign” blows
The season when flowers bloom in full is back
Where are you wandering with a handful of soil and the wind?
The longing name of that day
We call out eagerly,
But there’s no answer,
Do the waves know why?
Do the clouds see me?
It’s been decades of years since they left home,
When will the day come when their settled soul returns?
The sun rises as it did yesterday,
And the water flows as it did yesterday,
Oh souls, how can you not know how to come back?
When night comes, it’s said that even the stars that left home return,
And when dawn arrives, it’s said that all the birds that woke up from their sleep
Flap their wings vigorously toward the morning sky.
Which sky are you wandering in?
The land is still the same land,
And the sea is still the same sea.
Please come back,
Please come back.
The Beacon of Truth is lit,
We are waiting for you outside the East Gate
With the lamp of truth is already lit,
Father, mother, uncle, grandfather, grandmother,
Please come out on this brightly lit path now,
Hug us tight like before,
Let’s dance wildly or even scream out loud.
On the Baekrokdam where the white deer lights the fire,
Take out the red heart of the camellia flower,
Whether you have a soul or not,
Oh, countless lost spirits who can’t find their way,
May you become Jeju’s true flowers in your next life!
And become beacons that illuminate every nook and cranny,
May you become lighthouses that illuminate your hometown’s mountains and streams!
평화의 등대로 오소서
오늘 하루 별일 없을 테니
걱정하지 말라며 손 흔들고 집을 나선 아버지
바깥일이 하 수상하니
곧 돌아오마 두 손 꼭 잡아주고 길을 나섰던
마실 나갔던 삼촌
봄 햇살보다 눈부시게 빛났던 언니야!
솜털처럼 보송보송하던 내 동생아!
꽃이 다 피기도 전에 어이없이 스러져 간
다시 사월이 오고 올해도 어김없이
무자년의 바람이 부는데
꽃이 지천으로 만발한 계절이 돌아왔는데
어디에서 한 줌 흙으로 바람으로
그날의 그리운 이름
수십 년이 지나도록
아무런 대답이 없는 이유
파도는 알고 있을까요?
구름은 보고 있을까요?
집 나간 지 어언 수십여 년
한 맺힌 넋이 돌아올 그 날은 언제일까요?
해는 어제의 해가 떠오르고
물은 어제의 물이 그대로 흐르는데
영혼이시여 어쩌자고 돌아올 줄 모르나요?
저녁이 오면 집 나간 별들도 모두
새벽이 오면 잠에서 깨어난 새들도 모두
아침을 향해 힘차게 날갯짓한다는데
어느 하늘을 방황하고 계신가요?
땅은 아직 그 땅이고
바다도 아직 그 바다입니다
진실의 등불 밝혀놓고
동구 밖까지 마중 나와 있으니
아버지, 어머니, 삼촌, 할아버지, 할머니
이제 그만 환한 이 길에 나와
한바탕 춤이라도 추고
흰 사슴이 불 밝히는 백록담에 올라
동백꽃 붉은 심장 꺼내어
넋이라도 있고 없고
길을 찾지 못한 수많은 영령이시여
부디 다음 생에선 제주의 참꽃 되어
방방곡곡을 밝히는 등불이 되소서
고향 산천을 밝히는 등대가 되소서