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Mural – A Poem from Korea

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Mural – A Poem from Korea
Mural Village Seoul

Kim, Hak Jung, a poet from Korea, the Land of Morning Calm, shares his poem. His poetry explore the ills and ontology of modern society

Kim Hak Jung Korea Poet Sindh Courier Poet Kim Hak Jung, born in Seoul in 1977, made his literary debut in 2009 with the Rookie Award from the prestigious traditional literary magazine ‘MunhakSasang’. The poetry collections include ‘Genesis’ (2017) and ‘From the Sound of the Floor to Here’ (2022), the youth poetry collection ‘Submarine Who Never Gives Up’ (2020), and the short poem collection ‘Background Color is getting prettier’, (2021). He won the 18th Park In-hwan Literary Award, the most popular among young poets, and is attracting attention as a representative young poet of Korea. His poetry attempts to explore the ills and ontology of modern society through his exceptional use of metaphors and the development of mythical stories. Many Korean critics evaluate him as a leader who will lead Korean poetry in the future.

Mural

1

When the blind man first hit the wall, no one believed him when he said the wall was there.

People discovered the wall after a blind man cut his own body and painted a mural on it.

2

The mural was beautiful.

The area where the rough hand passed was as if the inside and outside of the wall had been sewn together,

And it was dazzling as if it was emitting light of its own.

The painting, in which colorful threads wriggled together, looked like a heart trying to jump out of the wall.

It was not clear whether the beauty was in the wall or the mural.

People who saw the mural complained of vomiting and dizziness.

They started talking about the wall, and with a feeling of joy or pain they couldn’t tell,

They started tearing the mural off the wall. The mural was falling apart. The people gathered in front of the wall were collapsing.

3

It was only after holding the remains of the mural that people realized there had been a wall there.

No one asked who painted the mural.

They just started calling him blind.

Named by those who couldn’t find a name to call him

A name that is not a name

Those who were unable to see the wall even though it was divided dispersed, sharing only its name.

***

벽화

1

눈먼자가 처음 그 벽에 부딪쳤을 때 벽이 거기 있다는 그의 말을 아무도 믿어주지 않았다. 사람들이 벽을 발견하게 된 것은 눈먼자가 자신의 몸을 뜯어 그린 벽화를 보고 나서였다.

2

벽화는 아름다웠다. 거친 손놀림이 지나간 자리는

벽의 안과 밖을 꿰매놓은 듯했고 스스로 빛을 내듯 현란했다. 색색의 실타래들이 서로 몸을 섞어 꿈틀대는 그림은 벽에서 뛰쳐나가려는 심장 같았다. 그 아름다움은

벽의 것인지 벽화의 것인지 분명하지 않았다. 벽화를 본 사람들은 구토와 현기증을 호소했다. 그들은 벽에 대해 말하기 시작했고, 환희인지 고통인지 알 수 없는 감각을 느끼며 벽화를 벽에서 뜯어내기 시작했다. 벽화가 부서지고 있었다. 벽 앞에 모여든 사람들이 무너지고 있었다.

3

벽화의 잔해를 손에 쥐고 나서야 사람들은 거기 벽이 있었음을 알았다. 벽화를 그린 자에 대해서는 아무도 묻지 않았다. 단지 그들은 그 자를 눈먼자라고 부르기 시작했다. 그를 부를 이름을 찾지 못한 사람들이 붙인

이름 아닌 이름

벽을 나누어 가지고도

벽을 볼 수 없었던 자들은 흩어지며

그 이름만을 나누어 갔다.

___________________ 

Also read: Inside and Outside – Poetry from Korea

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