20s-30s / Poems in Korean Middle School Textbooks / Poetry Translation / S-Z

Chimney – Yun Dongju



Yun Dongju

From the  short chimney of a mountain hut,
why does smoke curl up in the middle of the day?

It’s from baking potatoes.
Blinking their black eyes, bachelors gather around
and tell one old story for one potato,
as they darken their lips with charcoal.

From a short chimney of a mountain hut,
the smell of baking potato gently rises up.

(Translated by Jido Ahn in  January 2016)

learn more about the poet: Yun Dongju (1917-1945)



산골짜기 오막살이 낮은 굴뚝엔
몽긔몽긔 웬 내굴 대낮에 솟나.

감자를 굽는 게지, 총각 얘들이
깜박깜박 검은 눈이 모여 앉아서,
입술이 꺼멓게 숯을 바르고,
옛이야기 한 커리에 감자 하나씩.

산골짜기 오막살이 낮은 굴뚝엔
살랑살랑 솟아나네 감자 굽는 내.


While all of the poets here are well-known in Korea, Yun is one of the national poets whose poems are recited by many Korean people. He also wrote many poems for children (동시 童詩 dongshi), and this is one of them.
This poem is poem appears in the middle school first grade (7th grade) Korean textbook.

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