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The backpack – A Poem from Korea

The backpack – A Poem from Korea

Some people were falling down, and others could not be clearly identified.

Eon Kim, a poet from Korea, the Land of Morning Calm, shares his poem   

Eon Kim Korea poet Sindh CourierPoet Eon Kim was born in Pusan, South Korea, in 1973. He has published seven books of poetry, including “The Breathing Tomb” (2003), “The Giant” (2005), and “Let’s Write Novels” (2009). His other works include a prose collection, “Everyone Has Sentences in Their Heart” (2017); the book of poetics, “Poetry Doesn’t Talk About Parting” (2019); the book of criticism, “Beyond the Writing of Violence and Charm” (2023); and the book of reading prose, “Old Reading Books” (2023). Poet Eon Kim has received several awards, including the Midang Literary Award (2009), the Park In-hwan Literary Award (2012), the Kim Hyun Literary Plaque (2021), and the Daesan Literary Award (2021). Since 1998, he has emerged as a pivotal figure in the Korean poetry scene, with a series of works marked by strong existential thought. He currently serves as a professor of creative writing at Chugye University for the Arts.

EastBusanExplorationThe backpack

Inside was the book of poetry.

There was also a clear consciousness.

Some people were falling down, and others could not be clearly identified.

Within it dwelt the soul, no different than the body,

And inhabited death, no different than the soul.

It was actually moving.

One organ was being destroyed, then two organs, and three organs

Later something even I didn’t know was coming up.

It was like someone suddenly poking me.

“What’s in there?”

It’s not a huge deal, but it’s not even a very small thing.

Just, there’s something unknown in there, and you read it out loud after taking it out.


images (2)배낭


안에는 시집이 들어 있었다. 명료한 의식도 들어 있었다. 쓰러지는 사람도 들어 있었고 똑똑히 확인할 없는 사람도 들어 있었다. 육체와 다름없는 영혼이 들어 있었고 영혼과 다름없는 죽음이 들어 있었다. 실제로 움직이고 있었다. 하나의 장기가 파괴되고 있었고 개의 장기도 파괴되고 있었고 개의 장기부터는 나도 모르는 일이 벌어지고 있었다. 누군가 나를 찌르는 사태가 벌어지고 있었다. 거기 뭐가 들었습니까? 엄청나게 일은 아닙니다. 소소하게 작은 일도 됩니다. 다만 나도 모르는 일이 들어 있고 당신은 그걸 꺼내서 소리 내어 읽는다.


Read: A town that never dies – Poetry from Korea


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