Korean author, poet, translator Kang Byeong-Cheol, who holds the Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science degree, was born in Jeju City, South Korea in 1964, and began his writing career in 1993. His first short story “Song of Shuba,” was published when he was twenty-nine years old.
In 2005, Kang published a collection of short stories and has since won five literature awards, publishing over eight books in total. He was a member of The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International from 2009 to 2014. From 2018 to 2022, he served as Secretary General of the Jeju Unification Education Center. Prior to that, he was a Specially Appointed Professor at Jeju International University from 2016 to 2018, a Research Professor at Chungnam National University National Defense Institute from 2013 to 2016, a Senior Researcher at the Society of Ieodo Research from 2010 to 2017, and CEO of Online News Media Jejuin News from 2010 to 2013.
Kang also worked as an editorial writer for NewJejuIlbo, a newspaper in Jeju City, Korea. Currently, he holds the position of Research Executive at The Korean Institute for Peace and Cooperation.
Savior of melancholia and loneliness
What is it to live?
Walking, standing, sitting, lying down,
All the movements of daily life.
But within life, there are emotions.
Where do these emotions come from?
Echoing deep within the soul,
Sadness, loneliness, joy, excitement,
These are the seeds of culture.
Through music, dance, poetry,
We express our emotions and free our souls.
These seeds of culture grow even more
Through music, dance, and poetry recitals,
And have shone light on human civilization!
The mother of civilization is culture,
And the seeds of culture may have been boredom.
Long ago, people began to imagine and recite poetry
To overcome boredom.
Even now, we must recite poetry,
For it is the savior of sadness and loneliness.
우울함과 고독의 구원자
살아간다는 것은 무엇일까?
걷기, 서기, 앉기, 눕기
일상의 모든 움직임
하지만 생활 속에는 감정이 있지
이러한 감정들은 어디서 나오는 걸까?
영혼 깊은 곳에서 메아리치는
슬픔, 외로움, 기쁨, 흥분
이들은 문화의 씨앗이지
음악, 춤, 시를 통해
감정을 표현하고 영혼을 자유롭게 하지
이러한 문화의 씨앗들은
음악과 춤, 시 낭송으로 더 자라고
인류의 문명을 빛나게 했지!
문명의 어머니는 문화
문화의 씨앗은 아마도 지루함 이겠지
먼 옛날의 사람들은
지루함을 이기기 위해
상상하고 시를 낭송하기 시작했을 거야
지금도 우리는 시를 낭송하지
시야말로 우울함과 고독의 구원자이니까
Interconnectedness of all things
For a single rose to bloom,
It needs more than just a space,
Sunlight, water, minerals too,
All combined, it starts to brew.
With water vapor in the air,
It rains, the plant starts to care,
It grows and grows, day by day,
In its own interconnected way.
Existence is all intertwined,
Everything affected and amalgamated,
Bound to change in some regard,
And grow like a plant, tall and hard.
In the one, we find the whole,
And in the whole, we find the one,
All things connected, far and near,
Interwoven throughout eternity
Transcend the oppositions we must,
And strive for harmony and trust,
For humanity’s peaceful future to be,
One of unity and prosperity.
한 송이 장미가 피기 위해선
그냥 공간만으로는 부족해
태양 빛, 물, 광물질까지
필요해 다 합쳐져야지
공기 중에 수증기가 있어야
비 내리면 꽃은 자라며
하루하루 성장해 가고
상호 연결돼서 자라나지
모든 것이 서로 얽혀 있어서
서로 영향도 받고 융합되지
어떤 면에서든 변화를 맞이하며
꽃처럼 자라며 우뚝서지
하나 안에 전체가 있고
전체 안에 하나가 있어.
모든 것이 서로 연결돼
영원히 함께한다는 걸
우리는 대립을 초월하고
조화와 믿음을 추구해야 해
인류의 평화로운 미래를 위해서는
하나가 되어 함께 해야 해