- 흔들리며 피는 꽃 Author : Do Jong-Hwan 도 종 환
It has been a joy to translate poems by one of Korea’s most widely loved poets.
The poems of Do Jong-Hwan do not need much explanation or commentary.
They are not difficult to understand but offer glimpses of wisdom, lessons learned from life’s greatest joys and deepest pains.
Koreans love supremely the poets who encourage them to endure, to preserve a simple dignity in the midst of trials and hardship.
Mortality and transience can never fail to be challenges to any over-simple expectation of human happiness: “It’s sad, but flowers fall. Days once beautiful go floating away on the stream, the wind blows and without a word our flesh cracks.”
The final solution, then, is a deeper wisdom, an acceptance.
As he writes, “wounds and pain too form part of a beautiful life.” Such is the beauty we have tried to convey in our translations.
- Brother Anthony, literary translator and professor emeritus of Sokang University & Jinna Park