20s-30s / K-L / Poems in Korean Middle School Textbooks / Poetry Translation

My Heart Is – Kim Dongmyeong

My Heart Is

Kim Dongmyeong (1900-1968)

My heart is a lake,
Please row a boat hither.
Embracing your white shadow, like a jade,
I shall shatter at your gunwale.

My heart is candlelight,
Please close yonder door.
Trembling at your silk skirt, serenely,
I shall flare without leaving a single last drop.

My heart is a wanderer,
Please play the pipe.
Hearkening under the moon, silently,
I shall stay up my night.

My heart is a falling leaf,
Please let me sojourn in your garden.
When the wind rises, like a wanderer again,
I shall lonesomely depart from you.

(Translated by Jido Ahn. January 2016)


learn more about the poet: Kim Dongmyeong (1900-1968)


내 마음은

김동명 (1900-1968)

내 마음은 호수(湖水)요,
그대 노 저어 오오.
나는 그대의 흰 그림자를 안고, 옥 같이
그대의 뱃전에 부서지리라.

내 마음은 촛불이요,
그대 저 문을 닫아 주오.
나는 그대의 비단 옷자락에 떨며, 고요히
최후의 한 방울도 남김없이 타오리다.

내 마음은 나그네요,
그대 피리를 불어주오.
나는 달 아래 귀를 기울이며, 호젓이
나의 밤을 새이오리다.

내 마음은 낙엽이요,
잠깐 그대의 뜰에 머무르게 하오.
이제 바람이 일면 나는 또 나그네같이, 외로이
그대를 떠나오리다.


The poem appears in 7th grade Korean textbook. Although some people don’t know the poet, the line “내 마음은 호수요, / 그대 노 저어 오오.” (“My mind is a lake / Please come row hither.”) is very widely known among the Korean public.

Although Gangwon province official website says he was born in 1901, all other sources say he was born in 1900. I hope to make a Wikipedia page about him, which will be more accessible to people.


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