One flower and another flower
One flower lying behind the bars,
one flower lying before the bars,
one flower lying beside the bars,
one flower lying beside that one,
All around the sky is cloudy.
Flowers here, flowers there.
One flower lying behind the bars
open the bars, an even higher wall will appear.
We will appear, simply dying and living.
Flowers will be seen walking,
not walking in time, but singing in time.
Even in winter they will be seen.
One flag is there, not slipping down the pole
but poised in the middle of the flagstaff.
One flower lying behind the bars.
Translated by Brother Anthony of Taize
Hwang Dongkyu (1938- ) was born in Seoul. He graduated from the English Language and Literature Department of Seoul National University, where he is at present a professor. He initiated his literary career in February 1958 by the publication in the review Hyondae Munhak of the poem 10wol. His published volumes of poetry include Otton kaein nal (1958), Piga (1965), Samname nerinun nun (1975), Nanun pak'wirul pomyon kulligo sip'ochinda (1978), Agorul chosimharago? (1986), Kyondilsu opsi kabioun chonjaedul (1988), Morundae haeng (1991, Misiryong k'un param (1993). At first he wrote lyrical love poems, but in the 1970s he began to investigate aspects of Modernism. The poems in his first collection illustrate his earlier mood, those in the collection P'ungjang (Wind Burial) reveal clearly the change he underwent in the 70s. In later poems he successfully portrays, often in satiric mode, the fragmentation humanity undergoes in industrial society. His most noted work, P'ungjang is inspired by his constant interest in the theme of death.
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