시: 길 – 김기림

This is a poem I discovered these past days and I really like. I tried to translate it. I’ve searched for it because it was mentioned in a drama I watched, What’s Up Fox. For what I understood, this poem has been written some time in March 1936, during Japanese occupation. The author is said to have crossed to North shortly after that. Since then, there is no trace of him. He probably passed away a while ago. Nevertheless, when I first read this poem, I felt a lot of nostalgia, melancholy, loneliness and sadness.

나의 소년시절은 은빛 바다가 엿보이는 그 긴 언덕길을
어머니의 상여와 함께 꼬부라져 돌아갔다.

내 첫사랑도 그 길 위에서 조약돌처럼 집었다가 조약돌처럼 잃어버렸다.

그래서 나는 푸른 하늘 빛에 호져 때없이 그 길을 넘어
강가로 내려갔다가도 노을에 함북 자주빛으로 젖어서 돌아오곤 했다.

그 강가에는 봄이, 여름이, 가을이, 겨울이
나의 나이와 함께
여러 번 댕겨갔다.

가마귀도 날아가고 두루미도 떠나간 다음에는
모래둔과 그리고 어두운 내 마음이 남아서 몸서리쳤다.
그런 날은 항용 감기를 만나서 돌아와 앓았다.

할아버지도 언제 난 지를 모른다는 마을 밖
그 늙은 버드나무 밑에서
나는 지금도 돌아오지 않는 어머니,
돌아오지 않는 계집애,
돌아오지 않는 이야기가 돌아올 것만 같애
멍하니 기다려 본다.

그러면 어느새 어둠이 기어와서 내 뺨의 얼룩을 씻어준다.

=_==_==_==_==_=

These are my translation attempts in English and French

Road by Kim Ki Rim

My boyhood has disappeared with mom’s bier along the long road.

On this same road, I have lost my first love like a pebble I’ve found and lost.

So, alone, at any time, I would cross the road in the light blue sky day
and go down by the riverside
and often come back soaking wet in the light.

These springs, summers, autumns and winters by the river,
Along with my years,
Frequently came haunting me.

After the crows flew away and the cranes left
There were only remaining a sand hill and my gloomy mind so I shuddered
On such a day, because I always caught a cold, I’d go back home and suffer.

Under an old willow tree, outside the village,
that even Grandpa didn’t know when it was born,
I , even now, keep waiting blankly as if they would return,
For Mom who has not returned,
That girl who has not returned,
That story that has not returned.

Then, soon, the darkness crawls up and wipes the trace off my cheek.

=_==_==_==_==_=

Route par Kim Ki Rim

Mon enfance a disparu avec le cerceuil de ma mère, sur la longue route.

Sur cette route, j’ai perdu mon premier amour comme une bille que l’on trouve et égare.

Alors, seul, n’importe quand, je traversais la route dans le bleu clair du ciel,
Allais au bord de la rivière
Et revenais souvent trempé dans la lumière.

Ces printemps, étés, automnes, hivers près de la rivière
Ainsi que mes années
Sont souvent venus me hanter.

Après que les corbeaux se soit envolés et les grues parties,
Il ne restaient qu’un tas de sable et mon esprit lugubre alors je tremblais
Ces jours-là, parce que j’attrapais toujours froid, je rentrais et tombais malade.

Sous un vieux saule, à l’extérieur du village,
Dont même mon grand-père ignorait l’âge,
Encore maintenant, j’attends, l’air hagard, comme s’ils allaient revenir,
Ma mère qui ne revient pas,
Cette fille qui ne revient pas,
Cette histoire qui ne revient pas.

Alors, très vite, l’obscurité avance et vient effacer la trace sur ma joue.

Kim Ki Rim standing on the left, beside Shin Seok Jeong

=_==_==_==_==_=

This is the attempt of one of my Korean teachers.  I think my attempt wasn’t that bad:

My boyhood has went around with mom’s bier
along the long sloping road where the sea shimmered in silver can be seen.

On this same road, I have lost my first love
Like a pebble I’ve found and lost.

So, alone, at any time, I would go over the road
And down to the riverside in the light blue sky day
And often came back soaking wet in the light purple by the evening glow.

These springs, summers, autumns and winters came by the riverside,
Along with my years over and over again.

After the crows flew away and the cranes left,
There were only remaining a sand hill and my gloomy mind so I shuddered.

On such a day, I always got a cold, came home and suffered.

Under an old willow tree, outside the village,
that even Grandpa didn’t know when it was born,
I, even now, keep waiting blankly as if they would return,
For mom who has not returned,
That girl who has not returned,
That story that has not returned.

Then, soon, the darkness crawls up
And wipes the trace off my cheek.

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