(Translated by Jido Ahn, December 2015)
A lot is lost in translation, because the original poem has a unique rhythm from repetition. The first and the fourth lines start with “Beotggot” and the second and the third start with “puren sol”. Ending of each line also repeats: “boni”(1,3) and “joa”(2,4). Because of syntactical difference between English and Korean, it was impossible to keep these repetitions. Also, I decided to use the word “like” instead of more poetic words, because the language in the original poem is very simple and straightforward. Although there might be ways to make the translation more poetic, it wouldn’t be the most accurate translation.
This poem is the first poem that appears in the middle school first grade (7th grade) Korean textbook. In textbook, the poem is introduced as “New Spring” (새봄), but this poem is the ninth poem of “New Spring” series, hence “New Spring 9”
Kim is also known as Kim Chi-ha or Kim Chiha, although “Gim Jiha” is the closest to Korean pronunciation.